“The Action Agenda for Sustainable Development”


“The Action Agenda for Sustainable Development”

action-agenda-for-sustainable-development-231x300Under the leadership of Jeffrey Sachs (Director of the SDSN and head of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, which hosts the secretariat of the network), the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has issued the report, entitled “The Action Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

This report is the result of collaboration between top scientists, technologists, businesses, and development specialist and is a critical input to shape an ambitious and achievable post-2015 agenda.

As part of UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon’s initiatives to promote sustainable development, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) was launched in 2012 to mobilize global scientific and technological knowledge on the challenges of sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the post 2015 global sustainable development agenda. The Secretary-General created the SDSN to bring together academia, civil society, the private sector, and development practitioners from all parts of the world. The Leadership Council of the SDSN consists of dozens of top global thinkers and development leaders from all regions, rich and poor countries alike.


The SDSN has had extensive worldwide consultations with its Leadership Council and a broader network of thematic groups on the key issues of sustainable development. As a body comprising scientific and operational expertise on the broad range of sustainable development challenges, the Leadership Council has explored what an integrated, concise, science based, and action oriented agenda for the world might look like.

This report, The Action Agenda for Sustainable Development, prepared by the Leadership Council of the SDSN, summarizes the main conclusions of these discussions and the emerging work of the SDSN’s thematic groups. It also integrates the large number of comments received on an earlier draft during a two week public consultation.

The Leadership Council of the SDSN has identified the following priority challenges, which are interconnected and each contribute to the four dimensions of sustainable development:

The Rio+20 outcome document refers to three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social, and environmental) and emphasizes the importance of good governance as well as peace and security which are sometimes referred to as a foundation of sustainable development. For simplicity we refer to the four societal objectives as dimensions of sustainable development: economic development (including ending extreme poverty), social inclusion, environmental sustainability, and good governance including peace and security.

United Nations. (2012).The Future We Want, Our Common Vision

. Outcome document of the Rio+20 Conference.

Available at:https://rio20.un.org/sites/rio20.un.org/files/aconf.216l1_english.pdf


End Extreme Poverty Including Hunger:

End extreme poverty in all its forms, including hunger, child stunting, malnutrition, and food insecurity; and support highly vulnerable countries (MDGs1 -7).

Achieve Development within Planetary Boundaries:

All countries have a right to development that respects planetary boundaries, ensures sustainable production and consumption patterns, and helps to stabilize the global population by midcentury.

Ensure Effective Learning for All Children and Youth for Life and Livelihood:

All girls and boys complete affordable and high quality early childhood development programs, primary,

And secondary education to prepare them for the challenges of modern life and decent livelihoods. All youth and adults have access to continuous lifelong learning to acquire functional literacy, numeracy, and skills to earn a living through decent employment or self employment.

• Achieve Gender Equality, Social Inclusion, and Human Rights for All:

Ensure gender equality, human rights, the rule of law, and universal access to public services. Reduce relative poverty and other inequalities that cause social exclusion. Prevent and eliminate violence and exploitation, especially for women and children.

Achieve Health and Wellbeing at All Ages:

Achieve universal health coverage at every stage of life, with particular emphasis on primary health services, including reproductive health, to ensure that all people receive quality health services without suffering financial hardship. All countries promote policies to help individuals make healthy and sustainable decisions regarding diet, physical activity, and other individual or social dimensions of health.

Improve Agriculture Systems and Raise Rural Prosperity:

Improve farming practices, rural infrastructure, and access to resources for food production to increase

productivity of agriculture, livestock, and fisheries , raise smallholder incomes, reduce environmental impacts, promote rural prosperity, and ensure resilience to climate change.

Empower Inclusive, Productive and Resilient Cities:

Make all cities socially inclusive, economically productive, environmentally sustainable, secure, and resilient to climate change and other risks. Develop participatory, accountable, and effective city governance to support rapid and equitable urban transformation.

Curb Human Induced Climate Change and Ensure Sustainable Energy:

Curb greenhouse gas emissions from energy, industry, agriculture, built environment, and land

use change to ensure a peak of global CO2 emissions by 2020 and to head off the rapidly growing dangers of climate change. Promote sustainable energy for all.

Secure Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity and Ensure Good Management of Water and Other Natural Resources:

Biodiversity, marine , and terrestrial ecosystems of local, regional and global significance are inventoried, managed, and monitored to ensure the continuation of resilient and adaptive life support systems and to support sustainable development. Water and other natural resources are managed sustainably and transparently to support inclusive economic and human development.

Transform Governance for Sustainable Development:

The public sector, business, and other stakeholders commit to good governance, including transparency, accountability, access to information, participation, an end to tax and secrecy havens, and efforts to stamp out corruption. The international rules governing international finance, trade, corporate reporting, technology, and intellectual property are made consistent with achieving the SDGs. The financing of poverty reduction and global public goods including efforts to head off climate change are strengthened and based on a graduated set of global rights and responsibilities.

action plan global agendaThese 10 priorities can form the basis for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)that would apply to all countries during the years until 2030.Well-crafted Sustainable Development Goals will help guide the public’s understanding of complex sustainable development challenges, inspire public and private action, promote integrated thinking, and foster accountability, the report said.

The SDGs will complement the tools of international law, such as global treaties and conventions, by providing a shared normative framework. Children everywhere should learn the SDGs, Sachs said, to help them understand the challenges that they will confront as adults. The SDGs will also mobilize governments and the international system to strengthen measurement and monitoring for sustainable development.

“The world has at its disposal the tools to end extreme poverty in all its forms by the year 2030 and to address the sustainable development challenges outlined in this document,” Sachs said. “If the world mobilizes around a shared agenda for sustainable development and ambitious, time-bound Sustainable Development Goals, then rapid, positive change on the required scale is feasible, thanks to rising incomes and unprecedented scientific and technological progress. And, we can indeed be the generation that ends extreme poverty, ensures that all people are treated equally, and stems the dangerous climate and environmental risks facing our planet.”

Read Statements of Support for the SDSN Report here:

Read the whole report online

Useful website Links for more:

The World We Want: www.worldwewant2015.org

Open Working Group on SDGs: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1549

Oversees Development Institute (ODI) post2015 site: www.post2015.org

Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN): www.unsdsn.org
High level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post 2015 Development Agenda:


“The Action Agenda for Sustainable Development” Thanks, Meetika Srivastava 2013.


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