The idea for the SDGs was born at the 2012 Rio+20 Summit in Brazil. At the summit, government leaders began creating a set of universal goals to tackle poverty, ill health, inequality and environmental degradation. The idea was to use the SDGs as a new agreement to replace the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expired in 2015.
On 25 September 2015, after many years of discussion and consultation, all 193 countries finally agreed and signed the SDGs and make the commitment to achieve them by 2030. You can find the agreement on the UN’s website. The SDGs are 17 ambitious objectives for a greener, healthier, more peaceful, and equal planet.
The SDGs are sometimes referred to as the ‘Global Goals’ or ‘Agenda 2030’.
The SDGs are universal and were created to “leave no one behind”. The goals apply to both rich and poor countries, cities and villages, young and old, male and female.
Governments are not the only ones working on the SDGs. A huge number of NGOs are using the SDGs in planning and decision-making, and a growing number of private companies, city councils and universities are doing the same. It is also the responsibility of all people, as individuals, to make a contribution.