Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a new, universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN member states will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) follow and expand on the millennium development goals (MDGs), which are due to expire at the end of 2015.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are officially known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals, associated 169 targets and 304 indicators.This included the following goals:


  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial 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
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
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Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) vs Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs)

Read more about millennium development goals (MDGs).

As the MDG deadline approaches, about 100 crore people still live on less than $1.25 a day – the World Bank measure on poverty. More than 80 crore people do not have enough food to eat. Now let’s have a quick look on why we need SDGs.

  • MDGs were too narrow.
  • MDGs failed to consider the root causes of poverty.
  • The millennium development goals made no mention of human rights.
  • In reality MDGs  were considered targets for poor countries to achieve from the finance of wealthy countries.
  • Every country will be expected to work towards achieving the SDGs.
  • Goal 16 has a target to promote the rule of law and equal access to justice.
  • MDGs were drawn up by a group of men in the basement of UN headquarters.
  • Establishing post-2015 goals was an outcome of the Rio+20 summit in 2012, which mandated the creation of an open working group to come up with a draft agenda. Alongside the open working group discussions, the UN conducted a series of “global conversations”.

Criticisms of SDGS


  • Some countries feel that an agenda consisting of 17 goals is too unwieldy to implement or sell to the public, and would prefer a narrower brief.
  • Some feel that 15 years is a long duration to end global poverty and hunger.

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