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What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

The 17 SDGs are integrated—that is, they recognize that action in one area will affect outcomes in others, and that development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability.

Through the pledge to Leave No One Behind, countries have committed to fast-track progress for those furthest behind first. That is why the SDGs are designed to bring the world to several life-changing ‘zeros’, including zero poverty, hunger, AIDS and discrimination against women and girls.

Everyone is needed to reach these ambitious targets. The creativity, knowhow, technology and financial resources from all of society is necessary to achieve the SDGs in every context.

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What is UNDP's role?

As the lead UN development agency, UNDP is well-placed to help implement the Goals through our work in some 170 countries and territories.

We support countries in achieving the SDGs through integrated solutions. Today’s complex challenges—from stemming the spread of disease to preventing conflict—cannot be tackled neatly in isolation. For UNDP, this means focusing on systems, root causes and connections between challenges—not just thematic sectors—to build solutions that respond to people’s daily realities.  

Our track record working across the Goals provides us with a valuable experience and proven policy expertise to ensure we all reach the targets set out in the SDGs by 2030. But we cannot do this alone.

Achieving the SDGs requires the partnership of governments, private sector, civil society and citizens alike to make sure we leave a better planet for future generations.

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