In September 2015, all United Nations Member States agreed to commit to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – a plan to promote global partnership towards all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This 2030 Agenda, which came to effect on 1 January 2016 refers Sustainable Development to the most quoted definition given by Our Common Future of the 1987 Brundtland Report:
Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
These 17 UN SDGs were built on eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to halve extreme poverty by 2015 as a midpoint towards completely eradicating poverty. As compared to MDGs, UN SDGs offer a more holistic framework which integrates and interconnects the SDGs into 5 themes: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. The 17 UN SDGs consist of 169 targets and 232 indicators. UN SDGs serve as a universal call that cannot be ignored nor neglect to ensure a holistic development across the globe.
The follow-up and review of UN SDGs implementation in terms of support and capacity-building are done annually during the UN’s High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. All UN members are encouraged to conduct regular and inclusive national and sub-national reviews and then submit a voluntary and state-led review that involves multiple stakeholders of the UN. Malaysia being one of the members of Agenda 2030 submitted its first Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) in 2017.
As we embark on this great collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind. Recognising the dignity of every human is fundamental, we wish to see the goals and targets meet for all nations as well as the people and for all segments of society. And we will endeavour to reach the furthest behind first.
(2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development)
Ownership in fulfilling UN SDGs’ targets, however, should not stop at the state-led level. Every citizen has an equal responsibility to sustain and maintain the eco-system of our planet while we flourish and that we “Leave No One Behind” as the UN SDGs theme goes.