The 2030 Agenda constitutes a paradigm shift in international cooperation and provides new impetus for our work.

Following a comprehensive coordination process over a number of years with the broad participation of many governmental and non-governmental actors, the global community unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the UN Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015. The Agenda revolves around 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their 169 targets. 

The 2030 Agenda aims to transform our world. It aims to end extreme poverty and hunger, protect natural resources and create equal development opportunities for everyone around the world by 2030.

The core element of the 2030 Agenda is its transformative and universal character, which promotes industrialised, developing and emerging countries in equal measure and demands financing that goes far beyond official development assistance (ODA) funding. The states that have adopted this agenda undertake not only to achieve a transition to an environmentally friendly and resource-efficient global economy, they also commit to solving social issues such as poverty, hunger and inequality and to combatting existing human rights violations. In so doing, equal consideration will be given to the three dimensions of sustainability (social, environmental and economic). Beyond this, there is a recognition that good governance, peace and partnerships for sustainable development constitute an important basis for all activities.

The transformative character of the 2030 Agenda will be implemented in particular by taking into account a number of overarching principles.

The 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can only be implemented in conjunction with the Paris Agreement on climate change and the nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Both global agendas were adopted in 2015 and relate to each other

Apart from these, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on Financing for Development is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda.

The 2030 Agenda is the outcome of an unprecedented international participatory process. It is a policy document that represents a consensus among all of the world’s nations. Shortfalls in terms of coherence and linguistic contradictions in the text of the UN resolution are unavoidable in this context and do nothing to diminish the historical value and underlying unity of this consensus.

Here is an overview of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Reactions on the part of the EU and multilateral agencies

Multilateral organisations (above all the World Bank and OECD) are currently adopting comprehensive reform packages based on the 2030 Agenda, which are having a long-term impact on both their operational business and their institutional orientation.

The EU is well-positioned in terms of sustainable development. The EU and its member states are trailblazers when it comes to implementing the 2030 Agenda. The goals of the 2030 Agenda are reflected in all 6 priorities of the European Commission. In November 2016, the European Commission laid out its strategic concept for implementation of the 2030 Agenda and for realising the SDGs: ‘Communication on the next steps for a sustainable European future’.

Information on the current set of EU standards can be found here.

In order to promote sustainable development around the world, the EU will continue working with external partners, using all the tools that are available under its external policies. The EU report on the SDGs ("Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals across the world: The 2019 Joint Synthesis Report of the European Union and its Member States") is worth reading with regards to this topic. The document was part of the EU report for the HLPF 2019 (see also Council Conclusions). Particularly Part 1 on understanding the importance of the 2030 Agenda in EU development cooperation is very interesting.

The SDGs will be a cross-cutting dimension for the implementation of the Global Strategy on the EU’s Foreign and Security Policy presented in 2016 (see below), which concerns all policy fields in the EU’s external actions. The European Consensus on Development (2017) is a blueprint for achieving the SDGs and spells out the main lines of the EU and member states’ approach to cooperation with developing countries in the next 15 years. A central component is providing support to developing countries in their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda and to monitor and report on their activities.  

Factsheet 2030 Agenda in the EU


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