Our Sustainable Development Goals
SDGs as an Agenda for Peace and Humanity
The United Nations has, since its inception in 1945, has worked to convene member states around an overarching framework to establish peace, eradicate poverty and ensure human rights and gender equality worldwide. In 2000, the UN committed to a fifteen years ‘agenda for humanity’ which was signed by 189 world leaders at the UN General Assembly under the name of Millennium Declaration for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Realizing that they had not achieved all the goals, world leaders pursued new ways to design the second generation of the global goals. They engaged all layers of society in a more inclusive approach. Member states then set about consulting their civil society groups on how they wanted to see the world improve in the next fifteen years. A total of 88 countries initially submitted their views.
This is how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came into being in 2015. Leaders of all 193 member states including Canada, signed this commitment to work together to implement the SDGs by 2030. They decided to take bold steps to eradicate poverty in all its forms and to work together to shift the world onto a path to sustainable development. They pledged to leave no one behind on this collective journey. Canadian government committed to this as well.
The 2030 Agenda is a demonstration of the scale ambition and universality of this development plan which is broken down into 17 Goals, 169 Targets, and 232 Indicators. These are specific and carefully measured by government agencies, business and civil society so that each nation can see how it compares to its peers.
People, Planet, Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership
Agenda 2030 and its Goals, Targets, and Indicators are also a demonstration of the scale, ambition and universality of this new agenda which includes five pillars, known as the ‘Five Ps’ of Sustainable Development: People, Planet, Peace, Prosperity and Partnership. Each of them seek to:
- Realize human rights for all people; to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls and to ensure they reach their full potential in dignity.
- Protect the planet from degradation through ensuring sustainable production and consumption, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, in support of the needs of present and future generations.
- Ensure that all human beings can enjoy a life of prosperity and fulfilment where economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.
- Foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.
- In partnership with all countries, all stakeholders and all people, boldly mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalised Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.
- The SDGs are integrated and indivisible as they balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.
The states are invited to report at least once every five years of the SDG timeline through their Voluntary National Reports (VNRs) which are presented yearly at the UN general Assembly meeting of the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York. At this forum, the leaders, civil society, private sectors and academia discuss progress and challenges to achieving the SDGs.
The theme for the 2021 HLPF, planned for 6-15 July 2021 under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), will be about sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability.
Canada has reported on the SDG progress through Canada’s Voluntary National report 2018. The report stipulates that “while Canada has attained an overall high standard of social and economic development, three million Canadians still struggle to satisfy their basic needs. Indigenous peoples, women, youth and the elderly, the LGBTQ2 community, newcomers to Canada, and persons with disabilities are more likely to face poverty, discrimination, and social exclusion.” Canada also strongly believes that promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls is the most effective way to ensure progress on all SDGs.
Canada’s allocated funds from its Federal Budget to establish an SDG Unit- a coordination body, which will ensure effective 2030 Agenda integration across federal departments and agencies and track their progress on the SDGs. Canada has developed its Strategy for sustainable development and a 30 Actions to get there. These will respond to challenges of leaving no one behind through actions that can reduce poverty, advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, foster social inclusion and celebrate diversity, and improve equality for all.
We invite you to be part of this global conversation. You can search through the links we provided below, and materials in our website (link to our Events page). As a starting point, you can view the movie created from the global consultations on the 75th Anniversary of the UN on people’s hopes for their better future.