The United Nations adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on September 25th, 2015 where global leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi descended on the world body’s headquarters on the historic occasion. UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) sets a transformational vision that aims to end poverty, hunger, assure gender equality, and build a life of dignity. The goals will help fight immense challenges faced by the world today and achieve sustainable development.
The 193-member General Assembly adopted a new framework, “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Countries adopted a set of global goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as a part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. SDGs replaced the UN’s Millennium Development Goals that were focused mainly on fighting poverty in developing countries.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals with 169 associated targets that are integrated and indivisible are as follows:
Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all
Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 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
Goal 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
Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
However, economic growth of countries alone won’t be sufficient to achieve the SDGs, countries have to focus on a model of inclusive development. Private sector participation is essential for the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals. Businesses should not restrict themselves to just profit making and creating employment opportunities but shift towards creating shared value. Integrating shared value models would enable businesses to address social issues and challenges at a profit. Connecting elements of economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability makes the vision a reality on ground.

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