In September 2015, the United Nations signed up to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (external link) and 169 targets.
The 17 goals and 169 targets set out a universal agenda to achieve sustainable development globally, known as Agenda 2030. They bring together the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. They apply to all countries.
The goals build on the lessons learned from the Millennium Development Goals, which focused specifically on developing countries.
New Zealand will contribute to the achievement of the goals through a combination of domestic action, international leadership on global policy issues, and supporting countries through the New Zealand Aid Programme.
Achieving the SDGs will require a cross-Government effort. New Zealand government agencies are reviewing the goals and their alignment with existing Government priorities. This analysis will inform a discussion on how New Zealand focuses its efforts.
At a UN meeting on Implementation of the SDGs, Minister for Climate Change Issues, Paula Bennett, identified issues that are of greatest importance to New Zealanders, and where the New Zealand Government is focussing its work. These include:
- growing the economy
- improving living standards
- health and education
- creating jobs
- increasing the supply of affordable housing
- Encouraging women in leadership
- keeping our communities safe, and
- protecting our environment
The private sector and civil society can also help reach the goals. Already a number of NGOs and businesses are considering how their work helps, and are engaging productively with government agencies.