The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Sustainable Development Goals official banner

In September 2015, world leaders from all 193 UN member states adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide global action on the urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing our planet. The SDGs (or Global Goals as they are also known) set an ambitious target to build a more sustainable, safe, and prosperous world for all humanity by 2030.

There are four guiding principles for the SDGs:

  • Universality: the goals apply in every country, including Canada.
  • Integration: achievement of any one goal is linked to the achievement of the others.
  • Aspiration: there is a need to move past business as usual and seek transformational solutions.
  • Leaving No One Behind: success depends on the inclusion of the poorest and most vulnerable.
Listing of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about the specific SDG targets.

The SDGs were born at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. The objective was to produce a set of universal goals that met the urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing our world. They also coincided with another historic agreement reached in 2015 at the COP21 Paris Climate Conference. Together with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, signed in Japan in March 2015, these agreements provide a set of common standards and achievable targets to build a better world.

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