Member States decided to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Rio+20 Conference. These goals were to build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post 2015 development agenda.
On 25 September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly formally adopted the universal, integrated and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with a set of 17 SDGs and 169 associated targets.
The adoption of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs represent a change of paradigm of the international policies on development cooperation. The EU has committed to implement the SDGs both in its internal and external policies.
This is how the EU is already implementing these 17 goals in its development policy:
Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
- Supporting agricultural growth in developing countries, with a focus on small-scale farmers.
- Promoting sustainable agricultural practices.
- Fighting undernutrition/stunting.
- Strengthening resilience to climatic, economic and political crisis of the most vulnerable populations.
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Through the European Development Fund and Development Cooperation Instrument, the EU provides currently 17 countries with substantive support (on average about €0.2 billion per year); in addition, the EU is a major contributor to the Global Fund (AIDS, TB and malaria), to the Global Alliance for Vaccines (GAVI) and to health-related UN organisations (WHO, UNFPA).
Finf out more about Health.
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all
The aim is to strengthen education provision at all levels, and to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all by focusing on four strategic priorities:
- Strengthening inclusion and equity – leaving no one behind.
- Education in fragile and crisis affected countries.
- Strengthening the quality of teaching and learning.
- Strengthening young peoples' skills and employability.
Find out more about Education.
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Find out more about Gender equality.
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Support to the water sector is focusing on access to safe drinking water and sanitation, wastewater and pollution, transboundary water management and cross-sectoral coordination, within an integrated water resources management framework.
Find out more about Water and sanitation.
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
In 2015 the EU launched the Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+), a seven-year flagship programme to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable places tackle climate change, including the energy dimension by providing financial, technical and policy support.
Find out more about Energy.
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
The EU promotes high standards for working conditions internationally as well as the formalisation of the informal economy.
Find out more about Employment and decent work.
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
EU actions are geared towards inclusive and sustainable growth and economic integration, building on partner countries' comparative advantages in the manufacturing or services sectors. Other targets on access to financial services and technology are consistent with existing EU policy, including its involvement in initiatives such as the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.
Find out more about Economic growth.
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
Find out more about Governance.
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
The EU promotes sustainable urbanisation as a basic tool to enhance more effective development at local level.
Find out more about Urban development.
Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
The EU also supports the sound management of waste and chemicals and the implementation of the related Multilateral Environmental Agreements by developing countries.
The EU rules to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing ensure that only marine fisheries products validated as legal by the competent flag state or exporting state can be imported to or exported from the EU.
Find out more about Private sector development.
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
The EU is stepping up its international climate diplomacy to maintain the political momentum and support other countries in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and their climate plans. In this respect, the EU remains committed to scaling up the mobilisation of international climate finance.
In 2015 the EU launched the Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+), a seven-year thematic flagship programme to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable places to facilitate the transition to a climate resilient low-carbon future.
Find out more about Climate change, disaster risk reduction and desertification.
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
EU support to fisheries in developing countries focuses on sustainable fisheries management and covers three main fields of intervention: aquaculture, marine capture fisheries and inland capture fisheries.
Find out more about Biodiversity and ecosystems.
Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
The EU also supports REDD+, an initiative at international level to combat deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics.
The EU actively integrates environmental objectives in its cooperation with partner countries.
Find out more about Sustainable forestry.
Goal 16: Achieve peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law, effective and capable institutions
The EU is at the forefront of international efforts to fight organised crime, combat the laundering of the proceeds of crime and to counter the financing of terrorist activities and is a party to relevant international conventions and mechanisms.
The EU is committed to promoting and protecting human rights and to support accountable and inclusive democracy worldwide including through political dialogues, mainstreaming of human rights values and principles, and dedicated financial and technical assistance programmes.
The Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace is one of the key tools that the EU has to respond to crisis and/or to rapidly intervene to preserve peace and prevent conflict.
Goal 17: Strengthen Means of Implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development
The EU is also committed to development effectiveness. It for example participates in the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. The EU also continues to be a champion of aid transparency.
The EU is also committed to promoting innovative financing to developing countries, including blending.