The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were adopted by 193 world leaders in September 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly: “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” [known as Agenda 2030]. They officially came into force on the 1 January 2016. South Africa is one of the member states of the United Nations.

The 2030 Agenda consists of four parts:

  • Vision and principles
  • Goals and Targets
  • Means of implementation
  • Follow up review mechanism

Vision and principles:

Countries that have committed to the 17 SDGs have until 2030 to achieve 3 overarching goals which underpin the Agenda. They are:

  • To end extreme poverty
  • To fight inequality and injustice
  • To fix climate change

The preamble of Agenda 2030 states that the 17 SDGs and 169 targets linked to the goals, seek to build on the 8 Millennium Development Goals (set down in 2000 at the Millennium Summit of the United Nations), and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.

In its declaration, Agenda 2030 further states that all previous United Nations summits on the issue have laid the foundation for sustainable development and have “… helped to shape the new Agenda – which will be implemented for the full benefit of all for today’s and future generations …

Several the SDG’s are aligned to the broad principles of the National Development Plan. There is no doubt that we all need to familiarise ourselves with the principles behind these development goals, especially in South Africa if we are to succeed in rebuilding our economy on an equitable and sustainable basis.