The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals are 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all”. The SDGs were set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly (UN-GA) and are intended to be achieved by 2030. They are included in an UN-GA Resolution called the 2030 Agenda or what is colloquially known as Agenda 2030. The SDGs were developed in the Post-2015 Development Agenda as the future global development framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals, which ended in 2015.
The 17 SDGs are: (1) No Poverty, (2) Zero Hunger, (3) Good Health and Well-being, (4) Quality Education, (5) Gender Equality, (6) Clean Water and Sanitation, (7) Affordable and Clean Energy, (8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, (9) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, (10) Reduced Inequality, (11) Sustainable Cities and Communities, (12) Responsible Consumption and Production, (13) Climate Action, (14) Life Below Water, (15) Life On Land, (16) Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, (17) Partnerships for the Goals.
Though the goals are broad and interdependent, two years later (6 July 2017), the SDGs were made more “actionable” by a UN Resolution adopted by the General Assembly. The resolution identifies specific targets for each goal, along with indicators used to measure progress toward each target. The year the target is meant to be achieved is usually between 2020 and 2030. For some of the targets, no end date is given.
To facilitate monitoring, various tools exist to track and visualise progress towards the goals. All intention is to make data more available and easily understood. For example, the online publication SDG Tracker, launched in June 2018, presents available data across all indicators. The SDGs pay attention to multiple cross-cutting issues, like gender equity, education, and culture cut across all of the SDGs. There were severe impacts and implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on all 17 SDGs in 2020.