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Quick Question: What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?


In 2015, the United Nations (U.N.) set 17 goals to address issues that affect all of us around the world. Collectively, these goals are the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. By working together, the U.N. hopes that we can achieve these goals by 2030 (“The Global Goals,” 2018).


Here are the 17 goals:

Each goal is broken down into targets. As each target is met, we get one step closer to achieving the goal. You can explore the goals and their targets here.


Where did the Sustainable Development Goals come from?


In 2000, the United Nations set 8 goals, called the Millennium Development Goals:

  • Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

  • Achieve Universal Primary Education

  • Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

  • Reduce Child Mortality

  • Improve Maternal Health

  • Combat HIV/AIDs, malaria, and other diseases

  • Ensure Environmental Sustainability

  • Global Partnership for Development

Unfortunately, the U.N. faced criticism that these goals were too targeted thus leaving other areas of equal importance out of the picture. When the Millennium Development Goals expired in 2015, the U.N took what they learned and established the Sustainable Development Goals (Thomson, 2015).


How do we measure the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals?


In total, there are 169 targets that make up the 17 goals. Progress towards these targets and subsequent goals are 232 unique indicators (“Measuring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals - SDG Tracker,” 2015).


How close are we to reaching the goals?


Let's take a look at some numbers. The following data is for:

  • Goal #2- End Hunger,

  • Target #2.1- Universal access to safe and nutritious food

  • SDG Indicator 2.1.1- Prevalence of undernourishment

Throughout the world, the share of the population that is undernourished has gone down (“Goal 2: Zero Hunger - SDG Tracker,” 2012).


Learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals here.


Sources

Goal 2: Zero Hunger - SDG Tracker. (2012, January 1). Retrieved December 19, 2018, from https://sdg-tracker.org/zero-hunger

Measuring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals - SDG Tracker. (2015, January 1). Retrieved December 17, 2018, from https://sdg-tracker.org/

The Global Goals. (2018, September 10). Retrieved December 17, 2018, from https://www.globalgoals.org/

Thomson, S. (2015, September 16). What are the Sustainable Development Goals? Retrieved December 17, 2018, from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/09/what-are-the-sustainable-development-goals/