Social Development for Sustainable Development

SDGsTransforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted at the United Nations Summit in New York from 25 to 27 September 2015. The Agenda is a broad and universal policy agenda, with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with 169 associated targets which are integrated and indivisible. Building on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the 2030 Agenda seeks to guide Member States to transform their approach to achieve inclusive, people-centred and sustainable development with no one left behind.

We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which we are announcing today demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.

The inter-linkages and integrated nature of the SDGs are of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of the new Agenda is realized. If we realize our ambitions across the full extent of the Agenda, the lives of all will be profoundly improved and our world will be transformed for the better.



2030 Agenda: A plan of action for people, planet and prosperity

The Goals and targets will stimulate action over the next fifteen years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet:

  • People
    We are determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.
  • Planet
    We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations.
  • Prosperity
    We are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.
  • Peace
    We are determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.
  • Partnership
    We are determined to mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.

2030 Agenda seeks to strengthen the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development

The Implementation of the 2030 Agenda requires a more holistic, coherent and integrated approach at the national, regional and global levels. Policies to implement the 2030 Agenda need to address inter-linkages within the social sector, as well as between the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Similarly, existing institutions or institutional mechanisms that are working in the field of social development will have to adjust or expand the scope of work so as to accommodate the new mandates arising from the SDGs.

Recognizing the need for strengthening the social dimension of sustainable development, Member States, during the 53rd session of the Commission for Social Development (February 2015), urged to enhance policy coherence:

1) within social sectors (i.e. poverty eradication strategies, policies to promote employment and decent work and social inclusion, policies to enhance access to quality education, basic healthcare, safe drinking water, sanitation, group specific policies – youth, older persons, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, etc.);
2) through integrating social policy/perspectives into broader and more complex policy-making processes, and vice versa, incorporating economic and environmental perspectives into social policy-making. 

Learn more about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Commission for Social Development (CSocD)

As a preparatory and advisory body of ECOSOC on social development matters, the Commission for Social Development is the only Commission mandated to advise the Council in the fields of social policy development, research in areas affecting social and economic development and policies and programmes designed to promote social progress. Consequently, the Commission will provide substantive inputs to thematic reviews of progress on Sustainable Development Goals from social perspectives. Learn more about the work of CSocD.

SDGs and Social Development Issues


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