In September 2015, the leaders of more than 150 countries that make up the United Nations had a meeting in New York. They reached an agreement and signed a new, ambitious plan, called the 2030 Agenda.

The purpose of this plan? To make the world a better place. To provide an answer to the greatest economic, social and environmental challenges of our time. By 2030, the plan aims to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, reduce inequalities, ensure economic prosperity, but also protect the climate and biodiversity on this planet.

To make this a reality, 17 goals were created: The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.

What exactly is sustainable development? The term was first used in ‘Our common Future’, a book written by the Brundlandt Commission in 1987. Gro Harlem Brundlandt, the then Prime Minister of Norway and one of the authors, described Sustainable Development as:

“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

These 17 goals are described in detail in the Agenda 2030. Each SDG consists of around ten specific targets in order to make them more concrete.

Discover all the Goals and their targets here

Every year, the progress towards the goals and targets is measured on a national level, through some quantitative indicators. The results of this evaluation are published in the Sustainable Development Report, which provides us with an overview of the current situation in each country.

To achieve the SDGs we need action at a national level, although international collaborations are also necessary. Achieving the goals requires cooperation between all domains of society: governments, the private sector, non-commercial institutions, and civil society.

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