6 Major UN Sustainability Goals


A flag flying in front of a building

The United Nations has set a series of goals for the world to achieve by 2030. These are not just any goals, but ones that focus on ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets that need to be met to achieve the overarching goal. Read on to learn more about each of these important goals!

The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, and social equity; advancing human rights; promoting democracy and strengthening the rule of law; preventing conflicts; creating sustainable development opportunities including environmental protection; and building capacity among developing countries in managing their resources ‌by providing technical assistance. The UN was founded after World War II, to prevent future wars, and succeeded in that goal. The UN has six official goals which are outlined on their website.

Eradicate poverty

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The first UN Sustainability Goals is to eradicate poverty everywhere by 2030. This includes ending hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality rates, improving maternal health, combating human trafficking and HIV/AIDS, and providing affordable and clean energy in developing countries.

Responsible consumption and production

A row of colorful buildings

The second goal is to ensure responsible consumption and production by 2030. This includes ensuring access to resources, infrastructure, sustainable industrialization, financial resources, technology transfer, and the capacity building needed for effective environmental management; achieving significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources; integrating, where appropriate, environmental and sustainable development concerns into country-driven national development plans; strengthening scientific research and increasing the capacity of developing countries in technological innovation.

Life on land

The third goal is to protect life on land by 2030. This includes reversing deforestation, planting trees, ending poaching, eliminating oil spills and other types of pollution, combating desertification and restoring degraded land, safeguarding the world’s biodiversity, halving the loss of natural habitats, ensuring sustainable food production, and by 2020 halting and reversing the loss of marine and coastal ecosystems.

Water security

The fourth goal is to ensure water security for all by 2030. This includes reducing by half the proportion of people who lack safely managed to drink water services and ending the practice of dumping untreated wastewater into the environment. The goal also includes increasing water supplies by reducing withdrawals from rivers, lakes, and aquifers that are being rapidly depleted and safeguarding ecosystems such as mountain glaciers and snowpacks which provide vital freshwater resources.

Good health and well-being

The fifth goal is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all people by 2030. This includes ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases, eliminating violence against women and girls, stopping preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years old, guaranteeing universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services including family planning; providing education free from gender-based violence and exploitation, as well as water and sanitation.

Decent work and economic growth

The sixth UN Sustainability Goal is to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all people by 2030. This includes increasing the number of youth and adults who have access to jobs through measures such as cash transfers, provision of public works programs, microcredit schemes, and skills training. The goal also includes building infrastructure, promoting industrialization, and encouraging entrepreneurship through a range of policies aimed at developing the private sector and strengthening financial institutions.

To meet these goals, there are 16 UN Sustainability Goals that have been created for the year 2030. They include ending poverty in all its forms everywhere, ensuring healthy lives and access to affordable, sustainable, and clean energy, creating jobs, providing access to education, reducing inequalities.

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