The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) of the United Nations were passed in 2015 and are to be fulfilled by 2030. All 193 member states have stated their commitment to these goals, which are also known as Agenda 2030. The 17 goals cover all big topics, are refined even more in 169 sub-goals and formulate the requirements placed on the governments when it comes to leaving a plant worth living in to subsequent generations.

Despite noticeable success in poverty reduction since 1990, more than 800 million people are living in extreme poverty, about 70% being women. The ambition of the new Agenda for Sustainable Development consists in completely overcoming extreme poverty by 2030. In order to tackle the issue of poverty comprehensively, Goal 1 does not only include that of ending poverty but also the sub-goal of overcoming relative poverty, which is oriented towards national definitions. More

It is true that the situation has improved in many countries. Nevertheless, many people are still suffering from hunger or malnutrition. Undernourishment affects almost 800 million people worldwide, most of them being women and children. Agenda 2030 has set itself the goal to end hunger and all forms of undernourishment in the world within the forthcoming 15 years. As demand for food is rising rapidly worldwide, worldwide food production would have to be more than doubled for this purpose until 2050 according to estimates. More

The SDG’s have significantly contributed to worldwide improvement of health. For example, this refers to the struggle against such diseases as AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), tuberculosis and malaria. This the casualties due to malaria have decreased by 60% until 2000. Nevertheless, the results in many areas, for example in the reduction of mortality of children and mothers, lagged behind the expectations. As experience made by the SDG’s teaches us, health problems cannot be regarded individually but need to be viewed holistically. As has been proved, education and food safety influence success of health programs. More

The international community has reminded of the importance of high-grade basic and vocational training. High-grade basic and vocational training is central for the improvement of the conditions of life of individuals, the communities and society as a whole. Goal 4 is based on the lessons learned within the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). Accordingly it will not only be necessary to guarantee elementary education but also to ensure that basic training and vocational training are harmonized. More

Inequality between the genders is one of the biggest obstacles for sustainable development, economic growth and poverty reduction. Thanks to MDG 3, which deals with equal ranking of the genders and strengthening of the role of women, remarkable success has been achieved in schooling of girls and the integration of women into the labor market. Thanks to MDG 3, equality of genders has become highly visible. Due to the narrow focus of the goal, however, such important topics as violence against women, economic inequality and the low participation and involvement of women in political decisional structures have not been addressed. More


Access to drinking water and sanitary equipment is a human right. Together with the resource of water, it is a decisive factor for all aspects of social, economic and ecological development. The targeted goals for drinking water and sanitary equipment have been integrated into the MDG’s. However, other aspects decisive for sustainable development in this area have not been addressed. These aspects refer to water resource management, sewage disposal, water quality and the reduction of vulnerability to water related disasters. More

Access to energy is an indispensable prerequisite for the deployment of many goals in the field of sustainable development. In this respect, the goals go far beyond the energy sector: Overcoming of poverty, increase in food production, provision of clean water, improvement in public health, enlargement of the educational sector, promotion of trade and industry or advancement of women. Nowadays 1.6 billion people have no access to electricity worldwide, and 2.5 billion people depend on traditional biomass as source of energy. More

According to current data, more than 200 million people are unemployed worldwide. This particularly affects young people. Work and economic growth decisively contribute to combating poverty. Promotion of sustainable growth, a green economy and the creation of jobs that are sufficiently fit for human beings while respecting the human rights and the planetary boundaries are of crucial importance for developing countries as well as for threshold countries and industrialized countries. More

Investments in a sustainable infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase economic growth, create jobs and foster prosperity. In the forthcoming 15 years, infrastructural projects running into billions are imminent. Within Goal 9, it is a matter about establishing resistant infrastructures and fostering sustainable industrialization and innovations. In order to make infrastructures and industries sustainable, resources are to be used more efficiently while promoting clean and ecologically compatible technologies and industrial processes by 2030. More

Global inequalities are very big and one of the biggest challenges for sustainable development and poverty reduction. In the last few years, the inequalities within many countries have increased. Inequalities restrict the opportunities of social groups to be involved in social, cultural, political and economic life and make a useful contribution to this life. Therefore, Goal 10 focuses on reducing inequalities within and between countries. More

Urbanization is one of the most important developments in the 21st century. More than half of the population worldwide lives in cities, a rise to up to 70% being expected by 2050. Cities are main drives of local and national economies and turntables of prosperity. More than 80% of global economic activities are concentrated in cities. At the same time, urbanization implies big challenges. Cities have an enormous ecological footprint. More

At the moment, the world population consumes more resources than those that eco-systems can provide. In order to ensure that social and economic development can take place within the boundaries of the carrying capacity of eco-systems, the way our society produces and consumes goods needs to be changed fundamentally. Goal 12 demands implementation of the ten-year program for sustainable consumption and production patterns of the United Nations. Ecologically compatible handling of chemicals and all types of waste is to be achieved. The amount of waste is to be reduced significantly by recycling. More

Climate change is  a central challenge for sustainable development. Warming of the earth atmosphere triggers changes in the global climate system. These changes put livelihood of large parts of the population at risk in world regions that are not developed so highly. In developed regions, it is, above all, infrastructure and single branches of industry that are exposed to the risks of climate change. Due to changes of the precipitation and temperatures cycles, it also is such eco-systems as forests, agriculturally cultivated areas, mountainous regions and oceans as well as the plants, animals and humans living there that are affected. All over the world, the emission of oal dioxide (CO2) rose by more than 50% between 1990 and 2012. More

Pollution and overuse of the oceans are increasingly causing problems, such as acute endangering of the diversity of species, acidification of the seas and increasing plastics waste. In addition to industrial fishery and industrial use of maritime resources, climate change is increasingly putting the eco-systems under pressure. In future, a world population that continues to grow will depend on resources from the seas even more. Goal 14 requires all kinds of maritime pollution to be reduced significantly while reducing acidification of the oceans to a minimum by 2025. More

Preservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are decisive for social and economic development as well as for survival of people. However, statistics show a constant decline in biodiversity and the loss of forests. The loss of forested area endangers human well-being. In this respect, it is, above all, the poor rural population, including indigenous and local communities, that is affected. Biodiversity and forests contribute to reducing poverty by enabling food safety and health, providing clean air and clean water and storing CO2 emissions. Biodiversity is the basis for ecological development. More

Without peaceful and inclusive societies and good governance, development demonstrably won’t be sustainable. Thus states affected with conflicts are most remote from achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). The other way round, it has become quite obvious in many other countries that restoration of peace and accountable institutions have decisively contributed to the achievement of the MDG’s. Therefore, Goal 16 wants to promote peaceful and inclusive societies by 2030. For this purpose, Goal 16 demands the reduction of any forms of violence, ending to torture and combating of any types of organized delinquency. More

In order to successfully implement the 17 goals for sustainable development, a comprehensive funding basis will be needed. This basis needs to go beyond the funds of public development aid. Besides public and private means, policy-makers are to make a bigger contribution to the achievement of the goals. In July 2015, the community of states agreed upon a new framework for funding and implementing sustainable development, the Addis Abeba Action Agenda. In Goal 17, the developed countries renew their promise to employ 0.7 per cent of their gross national income on public development aid. More

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