The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (aka Global Goals) are a universal call to action that includes goals set to be achieved by United Nations member states by the end of 2030.

It focuses on the solution of social, cultural and ecological issues consisting of 17 main topics such as ending hunger and poverty all over the world, combating climate change, ensuring gender equality, promoting quality education, responsible production and consumption. It entered into force in January 2016.

  • Millennium Development Goals

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); They were goals that were announced by the United Nations in 2000, aiming to contribute to international development. 193 countries and 23 international companies have pledged to help achieve these goals. The Millennium, or in other words, the Millennium Development Goals, expired in 2015.

  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 Goals came into effect on January 2016, to be achieved by the 193 member states of the United Nations by the end of 2030 to eradicate poverty, protect planet earth, and ensure that all people live in peace and prosperity.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in other words the Global Goals, are built on the progress of the Millennium Development Goals and include new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice.

Since the Sustainable Development Goals will expire in 2030, the years 2020-2030 are called the “Decade of Action“.

  • What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to eradicate poverty, protect our planet and ensure that all people live in peace and prosperity.

These 17 Goals build on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals; on the other hand, it includes new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities. The goals are interrelated; The key to success in any cause is to deal with problems that have common aspects together.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are driven by a spirit of partnership and pragmatism, making the right choices today to improve life sustainably for future generations. It provides all countries with clear guidance and objectives to adopt in accordance with their priorities and the environmental challenges facing the world. The Sustainable Development Goals are an inclusive agenda. It gets to the root causes of poverty and unites us to make positive change for both people and our planet. “Supporting the 2030 Agenda is UNDP’s top priority,” said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator. “Sustainable Development Goals; It gives us a common plan and agenda to address some of the grave challenges our world is facing, such as poverty, climate change and conflict. UNDP has the experience and expertise to drive progress and support countries on their path to sustainable development.”

For more information on the background of the Sustainable Development Goals click here.


Goal 1: End Poverty

End Poverty” expresses the global goal of ending all forms of poverty everywhere. The eradication of all forms of poverty remains the greatest challenge facing humanity. More than 800 million people around the world are trying to live on less than $1.25 a day; The Sustainable Development Goals aim to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions, as many do not have access to adequate food, clean drinking water and sanitation.

There are 7 targets within the scope of the “End Poverty” objective.

Goal 2: End Hunger

End Hunger” refers to the goal of ending hunger on earth, achieving food security and good nutrition, and supporting sustainable agriculture. The Sustainable Development Goals aim to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030, and to ensure that all people, especially children, have adequate nutrition throughout the year. Objectives include supporting small farmers and promoting sustainable farming practices that support their equal access to land, technology and markets. It also requires international cooperation to invest in infrastructure and technology to increase productivity in agriculture.

There are 11 targets within the scope of the “End Hunger” objective

Goal 3: Health and Quality of Life

Health and Quality Life” refers to the goal of securing a healthy and quality life at all ages. Sustainable Development Goals; It is a commitment to eradicate epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030. This goal will ensure that everyone has access to universal health care, safe and accessible medicines and vaccines. Supporting vaccine research and development is an essential part of this process.

There are 13 targets within the scope of the “Health and Quality Life” objective.

Goal 4: Quality Education

Quality Education” is the global goal of providing inclusive and equitable quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning opportunities. Progress in education has been very difficult in some developing regions, due to severe poverty, armed conflict and other pressing crises. The ongoing armed conflicts in West and North Africa have led to a decrease in the number of children going to school. Achieving inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven tools for sustainable development. This target will enable all girls and boys to complete free primary and secondary education by 2030. It also aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational education, to eliminate gender and wealth inequalities, and to ensure everyone’s access to quality higher education.

There are 10 targets within the scope of the “Quality Education” objective.

Goal 5: Gender Equality

The title “Gender Equality” states the aim of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. It has been proven time and again that the empowerment of women and girls creates a multiplier effect and accelerates economic growth and development in all areas. This global goal aims to eliminate discrimination against women and girls everywhere. In some regions there are still large inequalities in the labor market, women still do not have equal access to work. Sexual violence and abuse, the unequal distribution of unpaid care and housework, and discrimination in public office remain major barriers. Today, the number of women in public office is higher than ever; however, encouraging women leaders will contribute to the strengthening of policies and legislation to further gender equality.

There are 9 targets within the scope of the aim of “Gender Equality”.

Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Clean Water and Sanitation” is the global goal of providing accessible water and wastewater services and sustainable water management for all. Water scarcity affects more than 40% of people worldwide; This rate is expected to increase further due to global warming as a result of climate change. Although 2.1 billion people have had access to better water and sanitation since 1990, the reduction of safe drinking water supplies is considered a major problem affecting all continents. In 2011, 41 countries experienced water shortages; Of these, 10 are running out of renewable clean water resources and now have to use alternative sources. By 2050, it is estimated that at least one in four people will be affected by frequent water shortages. To provide safe and accessible drinking water for all by 2030 requires investing in infrastructure, building sanitary facilities and promoting hygiene at all levels.

There are 8 targets within the scope of the “Clean Water and Sanitation” target.

Goal 7: Accessible and Clean Energy

The goal of “Accessible and Clean Energy” includes providing access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. The global economy based on fossil fuels and the increase in greenhouse gas emissions are creating huge changes in our climate system. These changes affect all continents. Promoting clean energy enabled more than 20% of global energy to be produced from renewable sources as of 2011. Still, one in five people does not have access to electricity; And as demand continues to rise, a massive increase in renewable energy generation worldwide will be required. In order to ensure that everyone has access to accessible energy by 2030, it is necessary to invest in clean energy sources such as solar, wind and thermal. Expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology to provide clean energy in all developing countries is a critical goal that can both stimulate growth and contribute to the environment.

There are 5 targets within the scope of the “Accessible and Clean Energy” objective.

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

The goal of “Decent Work and Economic Growth” encompasses the promotion of stable, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Decent work means work opportunities for all that are productive, fairly paid, secure in the workplace, social protection for families, and where people expect greater personal growth and social integration. According to the International Labor Organization, more than 204 million people were unemployed in 2015. This goal promotes sustainable economic growth, higher productivity levels and technological innovation. Encouraging entrepreneurship and job opportunities is key to this; Effective measures are also key to eliminating forced labor, slavery and human trafficking. With these goals in mind, the aim is to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men by 2030.

There are 12 targets within the scope of the “Decent Work and Economic Growth” objective.

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

The aim of “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” includes building resilient infrastructures, supporting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and strengthening innovation. Since more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, public transportation and renewable energy have become more important than ever. Supporting sustainable industries and investing in scientific research and innovation are important ways that make sustainable development possible. There are more than 4 billion people in the world who do not have internet access; In addition, 90% of them are in developing countries. Eliminating digital inequality is critical in terms of ensuring equal access to knowledge and experience, as well as fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. Supporting sustainable industries, developing environmentally friendly technologies, ensuring everyone’s equal access to knowledge and experience, investing in scientific research and innovation, planning the gender dimension of these actions and taking these priorities into account in all areas of construction, industry and finance are important ways that make sustainable development possible.

There are 8 targets within the scope of the “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” objective.

Goal 10: Reducing Inequalities

The goal of “Reducing Inequalities” includes reducing inequalities within and between countries. Income inequality is a global problem that demands global solutions. The solution includes improving the regulation and monitoring of financial markets and institutions, directing development aid and foreign direct investment to areas where it is most needed. Ensuring safe migration and movement of people is also important in reducing growing inequality.

There are 10 targets within the scope of the aim of “Reducing Inequalities”.

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

The aim of “Sustainable Cities and Communities” is to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Extreme poverty is often concentrated in urban areas; national and local governments are making efforts to accommodate the growing population in these areas. Making cities safe and sustainable means providing safe and accessible housing, transforming slums. It also means investing in public transport, creating public green spaces, and improving urban planning and management in a way that is both participatory and inclusive.

There are 10 targets within the scope of the “Sustainable Cities and Communities” objective.

Goal 12: Responsible Production and Consumption

To provide “Responsible Production and Consumption” patterns. To achieve economic growth and sustainable development, we must immediately reduce our ecological footprint by changing the way we produce and consume goods and resources. The efficient management of our common natural resources and the way we dispose of toxic waste and pollutants are also important targets in achieving this goal. Encouraging industries, businesses and consumers to recycle and reduce waste is equally important as encouraging developing countries to adopt more sustainable consumption patterns by 2030. A large part of the world’s population still has low consumption, which is not enough to meet their basic needs. Reducing the global per capita food waste by half at the vendor and consumer level is crucial in creating more efficient production and supply chains. Doing so can improve food security and drive the transition towards a more resource-efficient economy.

There are 11 targets within the scope of the “Responsible Production and Consumption” objective.

Goal 13: Climate Action

Climate Action” means taking urgent action to combat climate change and its effects. While the United Nations has declared climate change the greatest threat to development, the World Economic Forum has described it as “a serious existential risk to our world”. The impact of climate change is not just an increase in temperatures. Plants, animals and ecosystems as well as human communities are at serious risk as a result of factors such as the increase in the frequency and impact of extreme weather events such as drought, floods, severe hurricanes, rise in ocean and sea water levels, increase in the acidity of the oceans, and the melting of glaciers.

There are 5 targets within the scope of the “Climate Action” objective.

Goal 14: Life in Water

The aim of “Life in Water” is to protect and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. More than three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. However, since 30% of the world’s fish stocks are overused, they have fallen below the level to produce sustainable products. Marine pollution, mostly from land-based sources, has reached alarming levels; There is an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic waste per square kilometer of ocean. The Sustainable Development Goals aim to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems from pollution, as well as to address the effects of ocean acidification. Increasing conservation through international law and the sustainable use of ocean-based resources will contribute to alleviating some of the problems facing our oceans.

There are 10 targets within the scope of the “Life in Water” objective.

Goal 15: Terrestrial Life

The aim of “Terrestrial Life” is to protect and improve terrestrial ecosystems and to support their sustainable use; ensuring sustainable forest management; combating desertification; stopping and reversing land degradation; includes the objectives of preventing the loss of biodiversity. The world is witnessing massive soil degradation and loss of arable land has reached 30 to 35 times historical rates. Drought and desertification are also increasing each year, causing the loss of 12 million hectares worldwide and affecting poor communities. Of the 8,300 known animal breeds, 8% are extinct, and 22% are in danger of extinction.

The Sustainable Development Goals aim to protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, drylands and mountains by 2020.

There are 12 targets within the scope of the “Terrestrial Life” objective.

Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

The goal of “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”; Building peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development means ensuring access to justice for all and creating effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. High-intensity armed conflict and insecurity have devastating effects on the country’s development; It affects economic growth and often creates injustices that can last for generations. Sexual violence, crime, abuse and torture are also common where there is conflict or the absence of the rule of law; and countries must take action to protect those most at risk. The Sustainable Development Goals aim to significantly reduce all forms of violence and work with governments and societies to find durable solutions to conflict and insecurity.

There are 12 targets within the scope of the aim of “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”.

Goal 17: Partnerships for Purposes

The aim of “Partnerships for Purposes” aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. The Sustainable Development Goals can only be achieved with a strong commitment to global partnership and cooperation. Our world is now more interconnected than ever before. Increasing access to technology and knowledge is an important way to share ideas and support innovation. Coordinating policies to help developing countries manage their debt and encouraging investment in least developed countries are vital to achieving sustainable growth and development.

There are 19 targets within the scope of “Partnerships for Purposes”.