2015 is the year when the future global development agenda will be set. Member states, civil society and UN agencies are working to find common ground in preparing a global Post-2015 Development Agenda that will embrace all aspects of sustainable development guided by a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
When addressing current and future social, economic, and environmental challenges that are facing the planet there is now an established consensus that these challenges are interlinked and must be addressed through an integrated approach. The environment, along with social and economic factors, must play a key role when aiming to achieve truly sustainable development on a global scale. Only through integration of the three dimensions will it be possible to achieve the transformative change required to secure long-term human and environmental well-being.
Overview of Post-2015 and SDGs
The concept of Sustainable Development Goals was born at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20 in 2012. The objective behind the concept was to produce a set of universally applicable goals that balances the three dimensions of sustainable development: the environmental, social, and economic. At present, the Post-2015 and SDG processes are moving full steam ahead toward 2015 when the SDGs are taking over from the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), thus launching the new Global Sustainable Development Agenda. Many processes around the world are feeding into the overall process: governments, international organizations and the broader civil society are actively participating.
The United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda will build on the progress achieved through the MDGs: eight goals established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. At the same time, it will address persistent issues and new challenges facing people and the planet. The MDGs faced criticism for not sufficiently covering the environmental dimension in development, and for not addressing interlinkages between the three dimensions of sustainable development. Instead of addressing the dimensions of development separately the objective of the SDGs is an approach that integrates the social, economic and environmental dimensions in a truly sustainable development agenda.