Concluding a negotiating process that has spanned more than two years and has featured the unprecedented participation of civil society, at the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Summit in New York from Sept. 25-27, 2015, all 193 member countries of the United Nations agreed to adopt the 17-goal agenda towards eradicating poverty, protecting the planet and advancing prosperity by 2030 (http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/).
The new sustainable development agenda builds on the success of the Millennium Development Goals, which helped more than 700 million people escape poverty. The eight Millennium Development Goals, adopted in 2000, aimed at an array of issues that included slashing poverty, hunger, disease, gender inequality, and access to water and sanitation by 2015.
The new sustainable development goals, and the broader sustainablity agenda, go much further, addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people. For the full document, see http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/70/L.1&Lang=E.
The new agenda is people-centred, universal, transformative and integrated. It calls for action by all countries for all people over the next 15 years in five areas of critical importance: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. The agenda recognises that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with a plan that builds economic growth and addresses a range of social needs, while tackling climate change.
The implementation of the SDGs should provide important opportunities for MDP students and alumni from and in all countries—with government institutions, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector!