UN group agrees on 17 sustainable development goals

Headquarters of the United Nations, New York City
Headquarters of the United Nations, New York City

NEW YORK, Monday, July 21, 2014 – A UN open working group has agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – to succeed MDGs – with wide-ranging targets to foster economic growth, protection of the environment and end poverty by 2030.

Zambia and Zimbabwe represented the southern African region on the Open Working Group on SDGs.

Sixty-nine countries, clustered as 30 representatives of their regions, adopted the SDGs by acclamation on Saturday at the conclusion of an 18-month negotiation.

The proposed goals are:

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere. This goal is aimed at eradicating extreme poverty through mobilization of resources and implementation of policies.
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. This goal targets to increase agricultural production through increased investment in agriculture, prevention of trade restrictions and limit extreme food price volatility.
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. This goal aims at reducing global maternal mortality, end preventable deaths of newborns and under-five children through increased funding to the health sector.
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all. This goal aims at ensuring that girls and boys have free, equitable primary and secondary education, and access for all to affordable quality technical, vocational and tertiary education including university.
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. This goal aims at ending all forms of discrimination, violence and harmful practices against women and girls, and calls for their access to economic resources.
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. This goal aims at ensuring universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water and sanitation services for all through international cooperation and expansion of infrastructure.
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. This goal aims at ensuring universal access to energy services and sharing of renewable energy through enhanced international cooperation, upgrade of technology and expansion of infrastructure.
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. This goal aims at improving the economies of all countries, and promoting development-oriented policies that support job creation, entrepreneurship and innovation through access to financial services.
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industralisation and foster innovation. This target focuses on ensuring industralisation, infrastruction upgrade, enhancement of scientific and entrepreneurs’ access to finance.
  10.  Reduce inequality within and among countries. This goal focuses on adoption of policies that promote equality.
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. This goal aims at ensuring access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums.
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and productive patterns. This goal focuses at achieving sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources and reduction of waste generation.
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact, in accordance with the principles and provision of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. This goal focuses on reduction of marine pollution, addressing impact of ocean acidification, ending overfishing and increasing economic benefits from water bodies.
  15.  Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of territorial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
  16.  Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. This goals is aimed at ending violence and related deaths, abuse, exploitation, trafficking, torture of children and reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen recovery and return of stolen assets, among other targets.
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Co-chairs of the Open Working Group will submit the SDGs report to the 69th Session of the General Assembly in September for adoption.

Issued by:



First Secretary for Press and Public Relations

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations