The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted in 2000 will expire and be replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With the SDGs, or #GlobalGoals for short, the international community aims to eradicate poverty, advance gender equality, improve health care and counter climate change by the end of 2030. The representatives of 193 UN states agreed on an agenda for sustainable development at the beginning of August. At the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015 in New York on 25 September 2015, heads of state and government from all countries adopted the Sustainable Development Goals.
To obtain the broadest possible agreement, the UN launched the largest planning and consultation process in its history. For several years, 60 UN sub-divisions and international organizations, among others, have been working on the „Post-2015 Agenda“. The SDGs were inspired by the Rio+20 Summit’s Sustainable Development Goals on climate change three years ago. The result of the working groups are 17 goals and 169 objectives of sustainable development which, in contrast to the Millennium Development Goals, are not only addressed to the countries of the Global South but are equally valid for all states worldwide.
The SDGs now focus more on people. Human rights are therefore established as a cross-cutting issue. In contrast to the Millennium Development Goals, the new goals aim for comprehensive changes that also place the industrialized countries under an obligation. This applies to the careful use of resources, responsibility for social standards or the emission of climate-damaging gases. The focus is on sustainability. In addition, there are socio-political goals such as gender equality, a fair tax policy, the reduction of inequality between and within states or access to legal aid and inclusive institutions. The overriding concern of the SDGs is to end extreme poverty „in all its forms and throughout the world“. It currently affects around one billion people who must get by on less than 1.11 euros a day. „Leave no one behind“ is the motto for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Financing is also crucial to the success of the SDGs. The results of the UN Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July: emerging and developing countries are to receive more funds through the establishment of functioning tax systems and the fight against corruption, and the donor countries reaffirm their commitment to spend 0.7 percent of gross national income on development cooperation. The rest is to be contributed by the private sector. The UN assumes an annual need of three trillion US dollars.