Sustainable Development Goals

With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, world leaders agreed on a vision and an ambitious plan of action for change: freeing the world of poverty and hunger, protecting the planet from degradation; ensuring that all people can live prosperous and fulfilling lives in dignity and equality, and fostering peaceful, just and inclusive societies free of fear and violence.

Universal in scope and application and integrated and indivisible in nature, the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) constitute a transformative agenda. Its implementation calls for coordinated actions across the peace and security, human rights, humanitarian affairs and sustainable development spectrum and requires a deeper collective engagement by all stakeholders – governments, parliaments, the scientific and academic community, civil society, the private sector, the international community and the United Nations system.

Today, progress is being made in many places, but, overall, action to meet the Goals is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required. With just under ten years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, world leaders at the SDG Summit in September 2019 called for a Decade of Action for delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

CEB plays a central role in ensuring coordinated and coherent United Nations system-wide support in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Decade of Action. The CEB is also stressing the need to fill the gaps in knowledge, thinking, data and analytical capacity in the United Nations system, endowing the system with the capacity to support interlinked Sustainable Development Goals. Against the backdrop of rapid socioeconomic, environmental and technological change, the Board and its subsidiary bodies have taken action on a wide range of issues such as:

  • Developing system-wide plans for capacity development in artificial intelligence, the future of work, the future of education and learning, and sustainable urban development;
  • Taking further steps towards scaling up innovation; promoting system-wide action for innovating United Nations data and statistics to enhance evidence-based support for sustainable development;
  • Strengthening the United Nations system’s impact and visibility on reducing inequalities and on SDG 10;
  • Promoting and developing strategic foresight capacities and futures literacy across the UN system.

Aligning the UN system in support of the 2030 Agenda

The UN system is committed to promoting an integrated and coordinated approach to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. To this end, CEB endorsed in April 2016 a set of Common Principles to guide UN system actions. The Common Principles emphasize country-led, people-centered and results-focused approaches that protect human rights, dignity and leave no one behind. Preventing and resolving crises, addressing root causes, managing risk, building resilience and sustaining peace are shared objectives of the entire UN system. Achieving high standards of transparency and accountability and ensuring results-oriented service delivery are likewise central goals for UN organizations.

Furthermore, in April 2016 the Board issued a statement of commitment on bringing the UN system together to support conflict prevention and peacebuilding within the broader 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, noting the transformative nature of the 2030 Agenda, which recognizes the interlinkages between the aims of achieving sustainable development, respecting human rights and the pursuit of peace and stability.

  • Peace and Conflict Prevention
  • Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Chief Executives Board (CEB)
  • High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP)


  • CEB Common Principles to Guide the UN System’s Support to the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

    PDF | 157.93 KB

  • Transitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs

    PDF | 2.84 MB

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