Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)/Agenda 2030

About SDGs/Agenda 2030

The United Nations General Assembly adopted in 2015 a set of seventeen Sustainable Development Goals with specific targets which are to be achieved by 2030. Acknowledging that the earlier Millennium Development Agenda had a top down, reductionist and fragmented approach that did not adequately address the deep rooted structural obstacles to equitable and sustainable development and consequently lacked in holistic and integrated planning for doing so, the stress in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Agenda has been laid on partnership. The new Agenda is guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, including full respect for international law. It is grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international human rights treaties, the Millennium Declaration and the 2005 World Summit Outcome. It is informed by other instruments such as the Declaration on the Right to Development.

Member states are signatories to the important principle ‘Leave No One Behind’ in Agenda 2030. Translating this principle necessitates recognising communities that are socially excluded the most marginalised and vulnerable that is at risk to not be covered or slip through the gaps. The SDG 2030 recognises various vectors of social exclusion and vulnerability – age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status. In many places women, girls, indigenous, vulnerable, those in vulnerable situations are distinctly recognized. The Agenda also recommends identify the vulnerable contextually across social, economic and political domains. It is unfortunate that caste based discrimination is not recognised as a basis of social exclusion and vulnerability by the SDG, even as the draft ‘United Nations Principles and Guidelines for the Effective Elimination of Discrimination based on Work and Descent’ has already been accepted as the UN terminology to address caste based discrimination. Despite this gap, the 2030 agenda provides space for incorporating and addressing the concerns of caste based discrimination along with other forms of social exclusion in India. The SDGs categorically claim the document to include ALL people EVERYWHERE across ALL AGES. In various follow up documents the need to disaggregate data contextually to fulfil the fundamental commitment to leave no one behind is reiterated. ‘A core element of the global indicator framework is the disaggregation of data and the coverage of particular groups of the population in order to fulfil the main principle of the 2030 Agenda of leaving no one behind’ (IAEG-SDGs). Continuous work is necessary within the country to ensure that the socially excluded communities and their vulnerabilities are recognised and addressed under the different goals and targets through relevant indicators.

Thus, in the Indian context it is necessary to review the systems that are in place for ensuring such participation from all stakeholders and all people from the grassroots up to the highest levels of Government. Since the Government is the biggest entity with the most resources to ensure achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and targets that have been set, the legal and policy framework already in place in the country has to be critically reviewed to see how capable it is of achieving the SDGs and identify the gaps for rectification. The UN resolution also mentions that the business sector, Non-State Actors and individuals too must play a significant role in ensuring the achievement of the SDGs. Therefore the existing efforts by these other sectors and individuals have also to be reviewed for proper planning.

Adopting SDG in Indian context [Read Full Document]

SDGs Goal-16 (Click Here)