In a potential turning point for collective global efforts to end poverty, the 193 United Nations member states have endorsed an all-encompassing 17-point agenda on sustainable development up to 2030.
The Sustainable Development Goals agenda is expected to be formally adopted when the world leaders meet for the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York in September this year. Before the summit starts, the UN is also expected to be addressed by Pope Francis, who is an ardent advocate of combating climate change and gender equality — two of the key SDGs.
The new Sustainable Development Goals aims to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty, reduce inequality within and between the states, improve water management and energy, take action to combat climate change, work towards gender equality. The cost estimates for meeting the goals are said to be between USD 3.3 trillion to 4.5 trillion.
The SDG, also called post-2015 development agenda, will seek to complete the unfinished agenda of the Millennium Development Goals. While official figures show a reduction in poverty with a large chunk of this reduction coming from China and India lifting its citizens out of poverty, the debate on official estimates of poverty still lingers on and extreme poverty still exists in many parts of the world.
The 29-page SDG agenda, titled “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” sets out a plan of action recognising that “eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.”
The agenda will “build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve,” according to the document.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lauded the hard-fought agreement, saying it “encompasses auniversal, transformative and integrated agenda that heralds an historic turning point for our world.”
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.
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