UGC NET Environment Study Notes On Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals

By Mohit Choudhary|Updated : November 3rd, 2022

Millennium Development & Sustainable Development Goals

At the beginning of 20th century, world leaders held a meeting at the UN to provide a structure and vision to combat poverty in various dimensions; that was translated into 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDG framework has guided development work across the world for the past 15 years. All 191 United Nation members at that time and 22 international organizations committed to assist each other for achieving the following development goals:



1. To Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

  • The target was to reduce the number of persons suffering from hunger by half.

2. Achieve Universal Primary Education

  • Providing and facilitating all boys and girls to have access to complete their primary education.

3. Promote Gender Equality and Empower Woman

  • Promoting gender equality and eradicating gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieving it by 2015.

4. Reduce child mortality

  • Reduce by two-thirds the mortality among children under 5.

5. Improve maternal health

  • Reduce by three quarter the maternal mortality ratio. To achieve this motive, access given to universal reproductive health by 2015.

6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases

  • Halt and began to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.
  • Achieve access to treatment of HIV/AIDS persons and all the desired help by 2010.

7. Ensure environment sustainability

  • Integrate the principle of sustainable development in the country's policies and programs.
  • Ensuring access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation and its fulfilment to the remaining population. 
  • Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020.

8. Global partnership for development

  • Develop an open rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading with the financial system.
  • Promoting special needs of the less developed nation to have its access to various development goals.
  • Address the special needs of landlocked developing countries and small island countries/states (through the programme of action of sustainable development of small island developing states was the outcome of the 22nd session of General Assembly.
  • Deal comprehensively the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term.
  • Provide access to essential and affordable drugs to developing countries by cooperation with major pharmaceutical companies.
  • Dissipation of various new technologies to a less developed nation, especially information and communication through cooperation with the private sector.

What MDG's Achieve?

The success of the MDG's agenda proves that global action can work as:

  • The only path to ensure that the new development agenda leaves no-one behind because the world provides the opportunity to build and embrace the ambition to combat the challenges we face to build the future we desire for.
  • The new agenda should be “truly universal and transformative”.
  • As the human race, we seek a sustainable future.

Significant achievements have been made, but many people are being left behind:

  • Gender inequality still persists.
  • Big gaps exist between:
    • The poorest and richest households.
    • Rural and urban areas.
  • Climate change and environmental degradation undermine any progress achieved and poor people suffer the most.
  • Conflict remains the biggest threat to human development.
  • Majority of people of the less developed nation still live in poverty and poor sanitation; without access to basic services.

Now, we move to 2030 Agenda.

2030 Agenda 

1. Origin of 2030 Agenda: In 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development was held in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20), where the main focus was to address the construction and formulation of a common set of goals and include them in the post-2015 development agenda. The MDG's did not consider environmental issues, eg. Emissions of greenhouse gases, access to clean drinking water and management of water resources and the new focus on the concept of ‘sustainable development’ was developed to address the following issues like:

  • Need to consider the relationship between nature and society.
  • Social, environmental and economic dimensions.

2. Sustainable 2030 Development Goal: The main goals of the 5 P's model are interdependent and therefore the SDGs demand integrated thinking as well as integrated approaches to achieving the 17 goals under the following five categories:

a. People: The wellbeing of all people is at the top of this agenda. It has many important points to consider:

  • Eradication of poverty in all its forms all over the world.
  • Eradication of hunger, addressing and achieving food security and improved nutrition by promoting sustainable agriculture using advanced and improved agricultural technologies.
  • Improving living standard by ensuring better health care to promote healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages.
  • Spreading awareness and ensuring unbiased and equitable quality education.
  • Empowering women and girls in every field by providing them unbiased and equality opportunity.

b. Planet: It deals with the protection of the earth’s ecosystems. Prosperity is dealt with continued economic & technological growth.

  • Enforcing sustainable management of water and sanitation for all and availability of clean and hygienic water to all.
  • Providing access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
  • Ensuring sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment generation and job opportunities to all.
  • Providing a platform for resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization to promote innovation.
  • Promote equality within and among countries.
  • Ensuring human safety in cities.
  • Sustainable consumption and production patterns to be ensured and promoted.
  • Spreading awareness to combat climate change and its impacts by taking significant action.
  • Conservation of water bodies; especially the use of oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
  • Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

c. Peace

  • Promoting and ensuring societies for sustainable development, access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

d. Partnership

  • Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development

e. Desired Outcomes of 2030 Agenda

  • Improving policy coherence: The SDG's are multi-dimensional and thus require linkages across policy areas.
  • Supporting inclusive growth and well-being: Leaving no-one behind.
  • Ensuring the planet’s sustainability: Balance between socio-economic progress and sustaining the planet’s resources and ecosystems.
  • Promoting partnerships between Governments, international NGOs, Private sector & civil society.
  • Having accurate data to inform the process and progress.

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