The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
These 17 Goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, and acknowledge their failures. Including new areas such as climate change, economic equality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities, the goals are interconnected – often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another.
All of ACWW's work is committed to the achievement of the Goals. Our projects are funded in line with, and in support of, key target indicators for specific Goals, and we display these alongside our Project reports and updates.
Ending poverty around the world is the first goal. Millions of people lack the basic resources to enjoy a decent life. Goal 1 will make sure that everyone has access to food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, and education so they can fully participate in society.
Being poor often also means lack of access to essential things such as social security, new technologies, property, control over land, and financial aid, all of which this Goal seeks to correct. Those in poverty are also more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and other natural disasters, as well as social and economic shocks.
While there is food available to feed everyone, many people, including children, still go hungry. Goal 2 focuses on addressing inadequate and outdated agricultural processes, food waste, and environmental degradation to ensure that no one goes hungry.
We must improve the way that food is grown now and for the future without causing damage to nature. This can be done through supporting small-scale and local farmers, providing more funds for the production of food, especially in poorer countries, and helping limit volatility in food prices.
When people are in good health, societies prosper. While a lot has been done to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and other diseases in recent years, real progress can only be achieved when everyone, including women and children, has access to good healthcare.
Goal 3 includes essential targets such as the reduction of maternal mortality and deaths of infants and children, promotion of family planning, prevention and treatment of addictions. It is also seeks to half the number of traffic accidents all over the world.
There is an urgent global need to put an end to epidemics, provide affordable vaccines and essential medicines for all, cut the risk of chemical and biological pollution and its impact on people.
This Goal can’t be achieved without increasing the number of doctors and nurses in the most vulnerable areas of the world.
Access to education can help lift people out of poverty, bring a deeper understanding of the world and provide better opportunities for everyone, including all girls and women.
Goal 4 is all about ensuring everyone has access to learn no matter who they are or where they are. Vulnerable people, including children in difficult situations, persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples must receive quality education.
Goal 4 insists that all people be taught to promote human rights, peace and non-violence so that we can coexist harmoniously.
Women and girls, who make up more than half of the world’s population, still suffer discrimination and violence. Goal 5 is about achieving gender equality, including equal access to education, health care and decent work, all of which benefit societies.
Ending discrimination and violence against women and girls everywhere in the world, including forced marriage and genital mutilation, are key to achieving this goal. We also need to ensure women and girls’ full access to essential sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Women need to be able to own property, access financial services and new technologies, and take part at all levels of the political, economic, and public life of their communities. Increasing the number of women leaders, company managers, and members of parliament in all countries is another essential part of this goal.
There are billions of people all over the world without access to clean water and toilets, a human right that many of us take for granted.
Water scarcity and inadequate sanitation have a huge cost, not least the number of people, especially children, who die from diseases every year. Water is essential for life, and therefore should not be polluted but rather be recycled and reused by everyone.
Goal 6 includes the protection and restoration of areas where water can be found, Helping local communities manage their water supply and ensuring it is supplied fairly to all is vital to the success of Goal 6. Encouraging countries to work together for the common good in areas where water supply is shared across boundaries also contributes to global peace and security.
We must provide affordable and reliable energy to the billions who still reply on wood and charcoal for cooking and heating.
Goal 7 also underscores the need for clean and renewable energy to help combat climate change. Energy should be produced in a modern, cheap, reliable and sustainable way. It should be as clean as possible and come from pollution free sources such as sun and wind.
This goal aims to support and expand the supply of modern forms of energy to developing countries and ensure that all countries work together to promote clean energy research and improve technology that will benefit people as well as the planet.
Goal 8 calls for more jobs that not only provide decent pay but also stimulate the economy and provide equal opportunities for both men and women while protecting the environment. Providing work to everybody will increase personal wealth and thus make the economy stronger in each and every country.
We must make sure that everybody, including all women, men, young people and persons with disabilities can be employed and that everyone is paid equally for equal work. Increasing the number of small and medium sized companies that can employ people in productive jobs without harming the environment is also an important part of this goal. Together we must eradicate forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour all around the world.
Goal 9, in simple terms, states that for a society to grow, it should encourage industries that bring opportunities to everyone while protecting the environment.
These industries must be supported by resilient infrastructure such as reliable transport and technological innovation. Industries that employ people need to be given technological, financial and scientific support to allow them to succeed, especially in developing countries.
Access to information and communications technology for all, as well as affordable access to the internet, is essential.
For real improvements in a society, everyone needs to have access to opportunities that will let them grow as individuals. This is not the case in many places where people face discrimination because of their gender, disability status, ethnic or racial group, or background.
Goal 10 seeks to make sure that everyone everywhere has a chance to live a healthy and happy life. It is about reducing the inequality ties between rich and poor people as well as among rich and poor countries.
Developing countries need to have a greater say in international economic and financial systems and be supported through international aid. Safe and orderly migration of people is to be assured.
Cities are lively hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, and much more. They face many challenges such as pollution, lack of basic services for many citizens, and declining infrastructure.
Our cities and villages need to be clean and safe, with good housing and basic services like water and electricity. They also need clean, efficient transport systems and green areas that everyone can enjoy.
People need to be protected from disasters and the effects of climate change. Important cultural and natural sites need to be preserved for all. We need to improve air quality and waste management while supporting developing countries in constructing better buildings with local materials.
Goal 12 wants to make us think twice about the things we use, the waste we create, and how that impacts our planet. Changing our behaviour towards more sustainable actions such as recycling really makes a difference when everyone – that includes individuals, companies, governments – contributes.
There are many little things we can all do to achieve this goal. Goal 12 aims to improve the quality of life of all people, and not just a few, everywhere on the planet.
Our climate has always been changing, but in the past 200 years the changes have become more extreme because of human activity. Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. The poorest and most vulnerable people are the worst affected.
Goal 13 is about finding solutions like renewable energy and clean technologies to combat climate change. It will take actions from governments, the private sector and civil society to make a significant impact. It is urgent to educate people and raise their awareness of climate change in schools and through community outreach. Developing countries require financial resources to protect themselves against the effects of climate change.
Support is needed for Developing and Small Island Developing States to help with the consequences of environmental change, with particular focus on women, young people, local communities, and the disadvantaged.
Goal 14 is about protecting the oceans, seas and all their species. Oceans provide food, medicines, biofuels and jobs for millions of people. Taking good care of our oceans also helps us address climate change. Humanity needs healthy oceans, and they need humanity to protect them! Particular work must be done to reduce plastic debris that cause great damage to plant and animal life and endanger species.
Some of the targets of Goal 14 involve reducing marine acidity, controlling overfishing and illegal fishing to restore fish stocks, and increasing protected marine and coastal areas around the world. It strives to legally protect the oceans and seas through United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and assist developing countries and Small Island Developing States that are particularly affected.
We are all part of the global ecosystem. Goal 15 is about making sure that we stop activities that threaten our global home. This includes deforestation, land degradation, and loss of animal and plant species. Nature contributes so much to people’s lives and it is essential to protect it.
This Goal calls for an urgent end to the killing and trafficking of protected species and increased spending to protect nature and assist developing countries in doing so.
It also aims to educate people to respect the land and everything it gives us, so that our children continue to enjoy nature in the future.
Too many people experience war and violence. Goal 16 is about finding ways to make sure everyone lives in a peaceful society, where they can have access to justice and don’t have to live in fear. It strives to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of physical or psychological violence against children, women, and men around the world.
It aims to ensure that small arms and light weapons are very tightly controlled. Together we must work towards ending corruption and bribery in public life, greatly reducing illegal flows of money and arms, returning stolen property to where it belongs, and combating organised crime and terrorism.
All people are encouraged to participate in the public life of their countries.
To make all the goals a reality will require the participation of everyone. That includes governments, the private sector, civil society organisations, and people like you!
The best part is that we don’t have to work alone. If we join forces and create partnerships we can get there faster and succeed on each goal.
Developed countries must help developing countries with more assistance financially, scientifically and technologically, including aid to export more products internationally and to build their own capacity.
Developing countries should also be helped to reduce their debt, enabling them to better manage their future.