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European Commision on Sustainable Development Goals

In a recent press release, the European Commission announced new communication to contribute to the position of the European Union in negotiations of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.) In the statement, titled “A Decent Life for All: From Vision to Collective Action,” the EC suggests priority areas of focus and potential post-2015 targets.

Major priority areas include poverty, health, food security, education, water and sanitation and sustainable energy. Proposed SDGs within these spheres include:

  • The eradication of extreme poverty
  • Increased resilience to disasters
  • An end to discrimination in public service
  • The empowerment of marginalized groups
  • The eradication of malnutrition
  • Improved agricultural productivity
  • Reduced child and maternal mortality
  • Increased global literacy
  • Universal access to quality basic education
  • Elimination of violence and discrimination against women and girls
  • Universal access to clean water and sanitation
  • Reduced pollution and use of fossil fuels
  • Improved air quality
  • Protection of essential ecosystems
  • Decreased global violence

The EC stated that the SDGs should be “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound” and established on data and evidence.

The report also suggests a “rights-based approach” that promotes justice, equality, democracy and peace.

The European Commission continues to support the position of the EU regarding the creation of a global community and holding all nations responsible for the achievement of the SDGs.

“Mutual accountability at national and international level should be at the core of this mechanism, including monitoring progress on post-2015 goals and targets.”

Data provided by the Interagency and Expert Group (IAEG) on Millennium Development Goal (MDG) indicators will be used to provide annual progress reports towards the SDGs.

The SDGs will succeed the MDGs that expire at the end of 2015. The framework of these goals has been built on three facets of sustainable development: Social, Environmental and Economic. Such a system requires the involvement and cooperation of all nations as well as the private sector to provide global benefits.

The SDGs are still in development, pending final progress reports on the MDGs later this year. At this point, member nations have agreed that the new goals must build on existing commitments, and include active participation of all stakeholders without diverting focus from completion of the MDGs. It is also important that they are applicable to all countries while considering different levels of developing and without interfering with current national priorities.

Andris Piebalgs, European Development Commissioner, said the following of the new Sustainable Development Goals: “It is now recognized that, for the first time, the world has the technology and resources to eradicate extreme poverty in our lifetime. There is no excuse for us failing to do so and avoiding it must be our stated commitment. This can only be done through growth and development which is sustainable. We need to find solutions which truly balance economic, social and environmental objectives. And we need to bring together governments, but also civil society, private sector and citizens to set up a global framework that will ensure a decent life for all.”

– Kristen Bezner

Sources: European Commission 1Sustainable Development
Photo: EEA Grants