What are the UN 17 SDGs?

The United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. Each goal has specific targets and indicators that measure progress towards achieving the SDGs. As we approach the halfway point of this 15-year plan, it is essential to take stock of the current state of meeting these goals.

  1. No Poverty

The first SDG aims to eradicate extreme poverty worldwide. However, according to the World Bank, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed an additional 120 million people into extreme poverty. While progress was made before the pandemic, much more needs to be done to meet this goal by 2030.

  1. Zero Hunger

The second SDG aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. However, the number of undernourished people has been increasing since 2014, and the pandemic has only exacerbated this trend.

  1. Good Health and Well-being

The third SDG aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. While significant progress has been made in reducing maternal and child mortality, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of healthcare systems and the need to strengthen them.

  1. Quality Education

The fourth SDG aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all. While progress has been made in increasing access to education, many children still lack access to quality education, particularly in low-income countries.

  1. Gender Equality

The fifth SDG aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. While progress has been made in some areas, such as increasing the number of women in leadership positions, gender-based violence remains a significant challenge worldwide.

  1. Clean Water and Sanitation

The sixth SDG aims to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. While progress has been made in increasing access to clean water and sanitation, many people still lack access, particularly in rural areas and low-income countries.

  1. Affordable and Clean Energy

The seventh SDG aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. While progress has been made in increasing access to electricity, many people still lack access to clean and affordable energy.

  1. Decent Work and Economic Growth

The eighth SDG aims to promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. While progress has been made in reducing unemployment rates, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to job losses and economic insecurity for many people worldwide.

  1. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

The ninth SDG aims to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation. While progress has been made in some areas, many developing countries lack access to basic infrastructure, and innovation remains concentrated in a few countries.

  1. Reduced Inequalities

The tenth SDG aims to reduce inequality within and among countries. While progress has been made in reducing income inequality in some countries, inequalities persist in access to education, healthcare, and other essential services.

  1. Sustainable Cities and Communities

The eleventh SDG aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. While progress has been made in improving urban access to basic services, many cities still lack adequate infrastructure and face environmental challenges.

  1. Responsible Consumption and Production

The twelfth SDG aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. While progress has been made in some areas, such as reducing waste and increasing recycling, consumption patterns in high-income countries continue to have negative impacts on the environment and natural resources.

13. Climate Action

The thirteenth SDG aims to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters. Despite global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the planet’s temperature continues to rise, and extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe. The urgency of climate action has been emphasized by the recent release of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, which warns that the world is on course to exceed the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement unless immediate and unprecedented measures are taken to reduce emissions. Meeting the thirteenth SDG will require transformative changes in energy, transportation, and land use, as well as increased investments in clean technologies and renewable energy sources.

  1. Life Below Water

The fourteenth SDG aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development. However, marine biodiversity is declining, and ocean pollution remains a significant problem.

  1. Life On Land

The fifteenth SDG aims to protect, restore, and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt biodiversity loss. However, deforestation and the degradation of natural habitats continue at an alarming rate.

  1. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

The sixteenth SDG aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels. However, conflicts and political instability persist in many regions, and corruption remains a significant challenge.

  1. Partnerships for the Goals

The seventeenth SDG aims to revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development and enhance cooperation between governments, civil society, and the private sector. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted international cooperation and hindered progress towards achieving the SDGs.

In conclusion, while progress has been made in some areas towards achieving the SDGs, significant challenges remain. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of many societies and the need for urgent action to build resilient and sustainable communities. Meeting the SDGs will require a collective effort from governments, civil society, and the private sector to address the root causes of poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation.