The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Photo: UNDP/Dilip Lokre

In 2015, countries agreed on the need for comprehensive financing for development, adopted a new sustainable development agenda, and charted a universal and legally binding global agreement on climate change.

Concluding a negotiating process that spanned more than two years and featured the unprecedented participation of civil society, on 2 August 2015, governments united behind an ambitious agenda that features 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets  to be achieved by 2030. These goals and targets seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social, and environmental. The Goals and targets were adapted to stimulate action over the next fifteen years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet.

2020 and the Decade of Action

The year 2020, marking the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, was supposed to be momentous—a time to celebrate accomplishments. World leaders and women’s rights activists had planned to come together for the anniversaries of key legal and policy instruments, including the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the 40th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has largely interrupted those plans and is threatening to undo many of the gains on gender equality of the past 25 years. But backsliding on gender equality is not a foregone conclusion, and with bold policies, we can shift course and accelerate progress.

To set out a vision for delivering the SDGs over the course of the Decade of Action and recovering better from COVID-19, the first SDG Moment of the Decade of Action was held virtually on Friday, 18 September 2020. The event is significant as it will instill a renewed sense of urgency, accountability, ambition, and transformative possibility around implementation efforts. UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, delivered, together with the UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner and the Executive Director of the UNEP Inger Andersen, a presentation showing what Member States and stakeholders can do to pursue maximum progress towards the SDGs by 2030.

Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2020

This newly released publication brings together the latest available evidence on gender equality across all 17 Goals, underscoring the progress made, but also the progress interrupted because of COVID-19. See the publication.

SDG-related publications

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