From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals
The final report of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) says it has been the most successful anti-poverty effort in history. But despite significant gains, there are many global poverty issues that still need to be addressed. These include sanitation, gender equality, maternal and children’s health, and access to family planning, among others.

After 15 years, the transition from MDGs to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) begins. The new goals will be adopted this September at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, which will provide a guideline for policy and funding for the next 15 years. There are set to be 17 goals and 169 indicators to measure the progress of these goals.

Among the proposed goals are the following:

  • No poverty
  • Zero hunger
  • Good health and well being
  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life Below Water
  • Life on Land
  • Peace and Justice, Strong Institutions
  • Partnerships for the Goals

The goals were conceived through a collaboration of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Development Group (UNDG), which undertook an unprecedented global conversation among a diverse group of stakeholders over the last three years. Stakeholders included women, young people, people with disabilities, the private sector and all levels of government.

For example, the UN’s online My World Survey, which asked participants to rank their six highest priority issues, gathered the ranked priorities for the future of 7.3 million people.

In addition, the UNDG collected the perspectives from over one million people on “the world we want,” eliciting 88 national consultations and input on 11 thematic dialogues.

“As member states consult on the shape and content of a successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) beyond 2015, it is hoped that the opportunity to listen to these voices will contribute to reaching consensus on what is needed to move towards a common sustainable future,” states the World We Want website.

Partnerships will be key to realizing the proposed goals. Some of the important players that will assist in partnerships and collaboration between different entities are the Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships, which will work with public and private sectors. The U.S. Agency for International Development will work with corporations, foundations, NGOs and others in developing countries through the Global Development Alliance.

Looking ahead, the need to work together across stakeholder groups is paramount. “World leaders have an unprecedented opportunity this year to shift the world onto a path of inclusive, sustainable and resilient development,” said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator. And the message from the global conversation was clear: People want to be involved in the process of accomplishing these goals and to hold governments and businesses accountable for their promises and commitments.

Paula Acevedo

Sources: Millennium Development Goals Final Report, Devex, United Nations Development Programme
Photo: Flickr