The new global Sustainable Development Goals were officially adopted by the UN General Assembly at the Summit on Sustainability in New York in September 2015. With these goals, SDGs or Global Goals for short, the international community is looking to eradicate poverty, advance women’s equality, improve health care and take action against climate change by the end of 2030. This so-called 2030 Agenda follows on from the previous UN Millennium Development Goals.

The new Global Goals comprise 17 basic development goals, divided into 169 targets. A foremost concern is to put an end to extreme poverty ‘in all its forms everywhere’. According to the World Bank, it afflicts some 800 million people, who must live on less than US$ 1.9 a day.

The new goals have been enlarged in scope to apply to all nations of the world. They provide a frame of reference for sustainable economic, environmental and social development and call on all countries to make sustainable use of resources, set responsible social standards or curb the emission of gases that are harmful to the climate. Their implementation is voluntary and each government can decide itself on the measures to achieve the goals, but their success will be regularly monitored applying firm criteria.

Development cooperation remains an important part of the strategy for the eradication of poverty worldwide. The Global Goals underline, however, that development is a whole-of-government and whole-of-society task. To achieve them, everyone must act in concert.


All Austrians also need to do their part. ‘A decent life for all’ cannot be achieved by government development cooperation alone. To succeed in the fight against poverty in developing countries, we need the support of many members of society. Consumer choice, corporate responsibility or volunteer services - there are lots of ways to help: Join in!

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