What are the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted internationally through the United Nations, provides a blueprint for action and a call to equality and sustainability. Within this blueprint are 17 SDGs. The 17 SDGs cover international issues from poverty to global partnerships. Global leaders observe these SDGs recognising that better work environments and education are needed to eradicate poverty and that the world must address topics such as gender equality to create better economies effectively. All the SDGs are connected, and none of the goals can be met without working towards the other.
The SDGs are based on a shared vision of what world leaders want the world to be like in the future – a future that is secure, sustainable, and based on equality of all peoples both between nations and within nations.
The SDGs apply to every person, of every age, in every community and every country on Earth and were endorsed by all 193 member states of the United Nations in September 2015. Although every country starts from a different point for each goal, all nations have committed to work towards them. The SDGs are based on a shared vision of what world leaders want the world to be like in the future – a future that is secure, sustainable and based on equality of all peoples both between nations and within nations. The SDGs are based on a belief that no‐one should be left behind. It will not be enough that the average person has had their life improved. The poorest and most vulnerable people must also experience improvement in their lives with a reduction of the disparity between the richest and the poorest people.
For more information visit: THE 17 GOALS | Sustainable Development (un.org)
Why should we get involved with the SDGs?
The fact that world leaders agreed on a set of goals reflecting values which The Salvation Army has promoted for 125 years is something to be welcomed – especially as it can result in positive change for the poorest and most vulnerable people. The goals identify issues and promote values very familiar to Salvationists: equality of all people with no discrimination; the well‐being of all people with all people able to flourish; being good stewards of the earth and its resources; seeking peace and security for all people. These are values that shine through the Bible and have inspired Christians for more than 2000 years. All people, without exception, are made in the image of God and are equally precious to him (Genesis 1:27‐31). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declared: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God’ (Matthew 5:9). Jesus declared that he came that we might ‘have life and life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10). The SDGs recognise a lesson The Salvation Army learnt many years ago – people and communities need to participate in their own development. In addition, The Salvation Army recognises the importance of integration. Just as God created people as integrated persons with body and soul so those seeking to participate in God’s mission to save the world should not fragment services or treat only the body while trying to ignore the soul and spiritual healing. General André Cox is encouraging The Salvation Army to focus attention on the SDGs in every programme. This does not mean only in the developing world. The goals are universal, for every nation, for all people, everywhere.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals