ISLAMABAD: An ambitious long-term Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), comprising 17 goals with 169 targets scheduled to be launched in 2016, will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which meet its deadline in 2015.
According to UN sources, the new 15-year agenda up to 2030 also to address the unfinished business of the MDGs is expected to be adopted by the annual UN General Assembly in September.
The new blue-print of goals that consider economic, social and environmental dimensions to improve lives of people and protect the planet for future generations has been prepared by an ‘Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals’ set up by the General Assembly.
Focusing on what it calls the three pillars of sustainable development — namely social, economic and environmental — the goals aim, among others, to promote sustainable agriculture, women’s empowerment and the sustainable management of water and sanitation.
On the economic front, they outline promoting decent work for all and pledge to reduce inequality within and among countries.
In regards to the environment, they will aim to make human settlements safer and ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
SDGs’ Goal-1 seeks to eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere by 2030, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day. Also by 2030, the goal seeks to reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.
Goal-2 related to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture, and it seeks to end hunger by 2030 and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations.
Goal-3 will ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, and by 2030 reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 births and end preventable deaths of new-borns and under-5 children.
Goal-4 will ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all. It will be ensured that by 2030 all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.
Goal-5 seeks to eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation. It will further eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilations.
The plan also ensures women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.
Goal-6 seeks to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation, while on the other hand, goal-7 will ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
It has been proposed that goal-8 would promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Goal 9 seeks to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation, while goal 10 aims to reduce inequality within and among countries. Goal 11 will make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, whereas goal 12 will ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
The plan under goal 13 will take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts and goal 14 will conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Goa-15 will seek protection, restoration and promotion of sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
The proposed goal-16 will seek promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective institutions at all levels.
Goal-17 will help strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.
Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2014