The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an action plan that will guide the work of the United Nations and its Member States towards sustainable development by 2030. Approved at an international summit held on 25-27 September 2015, the Agenda was agreed by the 193 UN Member States and includes a Declaration, 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 goals. The document also has a section on means of implementation and a mechanism for assessment and follow-up.
The 2030 Agenda is universal, indivisible and integrated. It synthesizes aspirations and integrates the economic, social and environmental dimensions. Its central motto, No One Left Behind, is based on five guiding principles: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships (5Ps).
The document was discussed at the UN General Assembly, where member states and civil society negotiated their contributions. The Agenda reflects new development challenges and is linked to the outcome of Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, held in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro. Respecting their universal character, it is up to countries to sovereignly adjust these guidelines and their implementation mechanisms to the national context.
The plan enhances and broadens the scope of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), approved in 2000, which provided an important framework for sustainable development. The new document aims at completing what they have not completed and largely reflects the central themes that challenge people’s quality of life and the future of the planet.
The 2030 Agenda is, therefore, the most comprehensive reference in the contemporary period for mobilizing values, directing inclusive and sustainable development models and social justice and building alliances for their achievement. It is also a milestone for building medium and long-term prospects in view of the 2030 milestone and the longer-term debate already underway.