The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) build on the eight Millennial Development Goals (MDGs), which specifically sought by 2015 to:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development.

Not all of the MDGs were met globally, and progress was uneven across regions and countries, leaving millions of people behind, especially those disadvantaged due to sex, age, disability, ethnicity or geographic location.

Millennium Development Goals Full Report

The SDGs are expected to fill these gaps through targeted initiatives aimed at reaching the most vulnerable people. The SDGs stress everything from zero poverty and hunger, good health, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, and affordable clean energy, to decent work and economic growth, innovation, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities, responsible consumption, climate action, unpolluted oceans and land, and partnerships to achieve the goals. 

Sources: United Nations Millennial Project and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Policy Frameworks

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