The United Nations describes their newly-released Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as “a plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity.” This new agenda, made up of 17 separate goals, targets a wide-range of global issues, from extreme poverty to climate change. These bold and transformative goals strive to put the world onto a resilient path to development over the next 15 years.

UN member states will use the SDGs as a framework to shape their own domestic agenda and policy. The SDGs are interconnected, balancing economic, social, and environmental components of sustainable development. Each goal represents a step towards the creation of a more inclusive and sustainable global community.

Here are the 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.

The hardest part of any goal, no matter how big or small, long or short term, is the implementation, and certainly the SDGs are no exception. Not only has the UN set these 17 bold goals, but within these goals lie an additional 169 targets. Groups of experts across all fields are currently deliberating specific indicators to aid in the implementation and measurement of the goals and targets, which will hopefully ensure the overall success of the SDGs.

The United Nations is relying on member states, public and private organizations, and global citizens everywhere to act in collective partnership to pursue this plan for development. Despite some big critics weighing in on the loftiness and ambitious efforts of the UN, many influential global figures, from the Pope to Beyoncé, have already voiced their overwhelming support for the SDGs.

So, what do you think of new Sustainable Development Goals? What progress would you like to see take place globally by 2030?

For a complete list of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Targets please visit:

un sdgs

About the Author: Mary Kate Cronin is a senior studying Political Science and International Studies at Northwest Missouri State University. After a semester spent studying in Ghana, she has taken special interest in studying the political, economic, and social challenges facing Sub-Saharan Africa. After graduating, she hopes to earn a Master’s in International Development and return to West Africa to serve in the Peace Corps. In her free time she enjoys watching Rachel Maddow, browsing Pinterest, and drinking tea. She is excited to work as an intern with the Global Issues Team this semester and contribute to the growth of AMP Global Youth!