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Agenda 2030 – new global sustainable development goals

In the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York in September 2015, Member States adopted the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and agenda, which will steer the promotion of sustainable development until 2030. They aim to eradicate extreme poverty and to achieve sustainable development in all fields: economic, well-being and the environment.

The guiding principle of sustainable development is to support development and growth that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The concept of 'leaving no one behind' is firmly embedded in the goals and agenda spanning until 2030.

Follow-up of the Millennium Development Goals: ending poverty by 2030

The sustainable development goals and agenda are premised on the eight so-called Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to which the UN Member States committed in 2000. The results are good. Many of the goals have been reached ahead of schedule: for example, extreme poverty in the world has been reduced by half and over two billion people have gained access to clean drinking water. However, development has been uneven.

Sustainable development and well-being 2030 - for everyone and everywhere in the world. Brochure in Finnish, published by MFA.

The new agenda is wider and more ambitious than the MDGs. A central goal is to eradicate extreme poverty in all its forms everywhere. Another essential aspect is sustainable development from the point of view of both people's well-being, economic growth and the carrying capacity of the environment and the planet.

The agenda consists of four parts: a political declaration, goals for sustainable development, their implementation and follow-up of developments.

1.4 million people and several groups of experts participated in the preparation on a web platform. The World We Want report was completed in September 2013.

pdfKestävää kehitystä ja hyvinvointia vuoteen 2030 – kaikille ja kaikkialla maailmassa (pdf, September 2015)

17 sustainable development goals:

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
  15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Further information about the preparation of sustainable development goals:

Implementation and financing are key challenges

From the point of view of the effective implementation of the goals, the key question is the way in which solutions promoting sustainable development are put into effect in practice. Official development cooperation (ODA) continues to play a significant role especially as concerns support of the least developed countries, but the negotiators are looking for a wider model that would consist of different sources of financing and tools.

What is important is that each country's own capacity be reinforced. Developing countries' domestic capacities can be essentially strengthened by means of, for example, developing their tax systems, discouraging illicit financial flows and supporting investments.

Financing and other means of implementation were negotiated when the agenda was discussed. The financing negotiations culminated in the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July 2015.

The negotiations have been prepared by an Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing in 2013–2014, co-chaired by Ambassador Pertti Majanen from Finland and former Minister of Finance Mansur Muhtar from Nigeria.

Finland's targets in the negotiations

Important principles in the negotiations for Finland have been removal of inequalities, human rights based approach and consideration of the planet's carrying capacity, as well as that the agenda applies to all countries.

Post 2015 -valmistelut Kirsi Pere
Discussion on the measurement of development and possible indicators at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in April 2015. The input provided by experts specialising in different fields, organisations and researchers and other professionals during the preparatory phase has been important. Photo: Kirsi Pere

In addition, Finland has raised for discussion in the negotiations themes that are important nationally, such as gender equality, the rights of women and girls, sustainable management and use of natural resources, natural diversity and ensuring the provision of ecosystem services as well as sustainable consumption and production. Other important themes are peaceful societies, the rule of law, good governance and effective institutions as well as decent work.

Finland has negotiated in the international consultations as s member state of the European Union. The EU has jointly agreed positions that are based on the Council conclusions adopted in December 2014. Ambassador Riitta Resch has served as Finland's Chief Negotiator on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

How does sustainable development show in Finland?

The new goals apply to all countries of the world - also Finland. Goals like gender equality, sustainable consumption and production patterns, youth unemployment, the provisions concerning decent work and removal of inequality are good examples of matters in which every country has room for improvement.

The promotion of sustainable development requires that all actors, including the public and private sectors as well as CSOs and private individuals commit to the targets. One practical tool is the Commitment to Sustainable Development 2050, launched by the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development.

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