In 2015, leaders of 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 Goals. The SDGs are a blueprint for People, Planet, Peace, Prosperity, and Partnerships to be achieved by 2030. They are a breakthrough in our collective global consciousness as the goals cover issues that affect every single one of us in all nations around the world.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals
- No poverty
- Zero hunger
- Good health and well-being
- Quality education
- Gender equality
- Water and sanitation
- Affordable, reliable and clean energy
- Decent work and inclusive economic growth
- Resilient infrastructure, industrialization and innovation
- Reduced within and among countries
- Safe sustainable cities and communities
- Responsible sustainable consumption and production patterns
- Climate action
- Life below water
- Life on land with sustainable ecosystems
- Peace, justice and strong inclusive institutions
These 17 Goals are interconnected and indivisible. For example, fulfilling Goal 4 on Education, and Goal 5 on women’s empowerment and engagement, are dependent on SDGs 16 and 17, which are about enabling an environment of peace and security, the rule of law and inclusive processes. They underscore the need to give a voice to all, irrespective of differences in gender, age, ethnicity, race, cultural identity and social status.
Global challenges today affect not only the developing but also developed countries. They impact all of us. The SDGs reaffirm a long term international commitment to ending poverty and establish justice and equality worldwide. They are ambitious in making sure that no person or country is left behind. Only by addressing the root causes of these challenges, is it possible to achieve all the Goals.
The SMVA Trust, therefore, wholeheartedly also endorses the values and goals of the United Nations—embodied in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—namely those of promoting human dignity, justice, freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and a shared responsibility for global understanding.
Striving to create a better world, the SMVA Trust provides programs that reduce poverty and develop sustainability in food, water, energy and housing security. The Trust also provides free education, health care, services for persons with disabilities, humanitarian assistance, and environmental stewardship. With our major focus on youth and women’s equality and empowerment, we are working toward achieving what the UN is striving for – “a world free of want and fear”, as stated by Heads of State and Government at the 2005 World Summit.
My World 2015: Over one million people speak at the United Nations
More than 1 million people from all ages and walks of life responded to the My World call of the UN. They were engaged in digital consultations on the formulation of the SDGs, making it a unique experiment of outreach and inclusiveness in recent history.
Consultations on achieving the SDGs are also ongoing at the micro level in small groups and communities. The SMVA Trust is promoting the SDGs in the rural and urban areas of South Asia and Africa. Recently, the Trust has organized Roundtable Conferences in several cities of North America on current issues that are salient on the UN Agenda.
Since the Trust’s inception, its services have been planned and implemented in keeping with the UN’s Eight Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015), which were launched by world leaders in 2000, with the aim of eradicating poverty around the world. As the MDGs target date ended, the SMVA Trust has transitioned to the new SDGs and is in line with the new thrust of sustainable development. We have endeavored to build coalitions and partnerships with other civil society groups and the UN, in keeping with Goal 17.