Issues Home About Contact Us Issue 16 - Oct 2018 عربى
Terminology Corner
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

They are a set of desired outcomes for progress as approved by all states with 17 general Goals and 169 Targets for transforming our world by leaving no one behind and prioritizing the farthest behind first. The world’s governments adopted this Agenda and its corresponding principles of implementation at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in September 2015. Although these Goals are universal and include a holistic and inclusive approach, they are considered political commitments and do not amount to legally binding or enforceable, yet States have undertaken the primary responsibility for following up and reviewing progress against measurable indicators at the national level and contributing to global follow-up and review. 

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda rest on five pillars:

  1. Protecting the planet, reducing climate change, sustainable use of food and water and enjoying biodiversity;

  2. Preserving human dignity and promoting equality among the people of the earth for sustainable societies in which equality and enjoyment of rights prevail;

  3. Achieving prosperity for all that respects the environment and the human dimension;

  4. Supporting and building peace and reducing conflicts for secure and stable societies;

  5. Achieving comprehensive partnerships based on this common vision and Goals to promote solidarity among nations, civil society, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

In English, these are known also as the five “P”s: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships.

Although the SDGs are of non-binding legal value, their application aligns closely with the obligations of states under international law, both individually and collectively, as well as domestically and extraterritorially, including the obligations under human rights treaties and related instruments. The 2030 Agenda and its monitoring processes provide an opportunity for the United Nations Development System to benefit from the existing methodologies and expertise of the Human Rights System, thereby strengthening the coherence and integration of those human rights obligations and temporal commitments for the implementation of the SDGs and the Agenda. This approach defines the roles of both rights holders (i.e., individuals and groups to which the rights apply) and duty holders (i.e., states and their constituent organs) bearing corresponding obligations to ensure continuous improvement of living conditions not only as services to beneficiaries but through respect, protection and realization of universal human rights.



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