The sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a new, universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN member states will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years. The Global Goals follow and expand on the millennium development goals (MDGs), which were agreed by governments in 2001 and expired at the end of 2015.
The Global Goals aim to achieve three things by 2030 :
combat climate change and
fight injustice and inequality
The millennium development goals originally put in place 8 goals– reduce poverty and hunger; achieve universal education; promote gender equality; reduce child and maternal deaths; combat HIV, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; develop global partnerships – failed to consider the root causes of poverty and overlooked gender inequality as well as the holistic nature of development. However, the goals made no mention of human rights and did not specifically address economic development. There was also the theory that the millennium goals only applied to those countries, that were considered poor, with finance from wealthy states, where as all will be expected to achieve SDGs.
SDGs are not legally binding, governments are expected to take ownership and establish national frameworks for the achievement of the 17 Global Goals. Countries have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review of the progress made in implementing the Goals, which will require quality, accessible and timely data collection. Regional follow-up and review will be based on national-level analyses and contribute to follow-up and review at the global level.
In March 2013 a group of representatives from 70 countries, had its first meeting on setting the sustainable goals and published its final draft, with its 17 suggestions, in July 2014. The draft was presented to the UN general assembly in September 2014. Member state negotiations followed, and the final wording of the goals and targets, and the preamble and declaration that comes with them, were agreed in August 2015.
The global level, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets of the new agenda will be monitored and reviewed using a set of global indicators. The global indicator framework, to be developed by the Inter Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEA-SDGs), will be agreed on by the UN Statistical Commission by March 2016. The Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly will then adopt these indicators. Governments will also develop their own national indicators to assist in monitoring progress made on the goals and targets.