The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The eight Millennium Development Goals – from eradicating poverty, through limiting the spread of HIV/AIDS, to ensuring universal access to primary education – were a turning point in global actions for development. Adopted in 2000, the Millennium Goals helped mobilize efforts for development and guide the global and national development priorities in similar directions. Although three out of the eight Goals were achieved earlier than the deadline set for 2015, progress in implementing all of them was uneven in individual regions and countries. Therefore, the international community still recognizes the necessity to address much broader and more universal challenges such as sustainable development and environmental protection, especially in relation to mitigating climate change related to human activity.
Sustainable Development Goals
In June 2012, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development was held in Rio de Janeiro. One of its results was the decision by the UN Member States to initiate the process of preparing a set of new Sustainable Development Goals, meant as a continuation for the Millennium Goals. The SDGs are meant to cover the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development, i.e. eradicating poverty, ensuring the durability of the natural environment, and sustainable consumption and production.
The process of formulating the SDGs was part of the works on the Post-2015 Development Agenda that were carried out within the system of the United Nations. The Agenda is aimed at finalizing the implementation of the Millennium Goals and further advancing global development. The fundamental components of the Agenda include the Declaration, the SDGs, the Means of Implementation, and the Global Partnership, as well as Agenda follow-up and review.
Developed by the Open Working Group established specifically for that purpose, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals address not only eradicating poverty, combating hunger or ensuring healthy lives, but also issues such as sustainable use of the natural environment, limiting social inequalities or ensuring access to energy.
From 25th to 27th September, 2015 in the UN Headquarters in New York a summit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was held. The summit was attended by more than 100 heads of states and governments, representatives of religious groups, business and civil society. Poland was represented by president Andrzej Duda. During the summit the world leaders adopted the outcome document “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, speaking about the Sustainable Development Agenda stressed, that after its adoption „we have a big, bold agenda before us – now we must work to make it real in people’s lives.”
With regard to achieving the goals of the global development agenda in Poland the coordination was assumed by the Ministry of Development. In the international dimension the Ministry of foreign Affairs will support the efforts of the developing countries to implement the 2030 Agenda.
Sustainable Development Goals:
Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industralization and foster innovation
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
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
Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Between 13 and 16 July 2015, the Third International Conference on Financing Development took place in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, which was aimed at establishing financial and non-financial instruments for implementing the new Post-2015 Agenda for Development. The final document adopted during the Conference, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, covers more than 100 specific Means of Implementation. A range of measures were agreed upon that are aimed at enhancing the sources of revenue, making tax collection more efficient, and combating tax evasion and illegal financial flows. The European Union renewed its declaration to award 0.7% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to official development aid (ODA) within the timeframe of the Post-2015 Agenda (the Member States admitted after 2004, including Poland, would endeavour to achieve the level of 0.33% of GDP/ODA until 2015).
The UN Summit that took place between 25 and 27 September 2015 was the culmination of the UN-led works, in which not only the governments of developed and developing countries were involved, but also public benefit organisations, academics and the private sector. At the end of the Summit, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted.
Implementation of the Post-2015 Agenda by Poland
The adoption by the UN General Assembly of the new agenda for development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals is the first step in the effort to achieve a measurable improvement in the condition of billions of people across the world over the next fifteen years.
The new agenda for development is universal in nature and its implementation is the task of the entire international community: the developed and developing countries as well as the international organisations they belong to. An important role in implementing the guildelines of the 2030 agenda will also be played by the private sector and non-governmental organisations.
Poland took active part in preparing the new agenda for development, and we were particularly satisfied when the protection of such fundamental values as human rights was included in its priorities.
At the international level, the most important tool for Poland in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals will be development cooperation. The geographic and substantive directions for action within Polish development cooperation, i.e. measures taken in order to provide developing countries and their societies with development aid, humanitarian aid and global education measures aimed at raising the awareness and understanding of global problems and interdependencies, are specified in the Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme for 2016 – 2020.
The priority measures of Polish development aid will concern promoting good governance, developing democracy and protecting human rights, developing human capital, entrepreneurship and the private sector, as well as promoting sustainable agriculture, rural development and environmental protection. For each of the thematic priorities within Polish development cooperation, specific outcomes were developed, the achievement of which will contribute to the implementation of the priority goals. The priorities selected are in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and their implementation will constitute the Polish contribution to the efforts to fulfill the goals of the global agenda for development.
Polish financial commitments with regard to development cooperation will reflect the results of the negotiations at the Third International Conference of Financing Development in Addis Ababa. A considerable amount of funds is forwared to priority countries within the Polish development cooperation programme in cooperation with Polish non-governmental organisations, public sector units, the Polish Academy of Sciences, and higher education institutions. Polish aid is also implemented in cooperation with Polish diplomatic representations and missions.