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The new sustainable development agenda of the United Nations, initiated from this year, is universal covering everyone everywhere. The agenda says that “no one will be left behind”

Speaking at a workshop in Chennai today,Job Zachariah, chief of UNICEF for Tamil Nadu and Kerala said that the UN agenda is comprehensive with 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 169 targets.

Major goals include ending poverty and hunger and ensuring health, quality education, clean water, sanitation and energy. It also lays emphasis on conserving and protecting environment, combating climate change and achieving gender equality.

“Most of the SDGs have zero goals. It envisages not just to reduce or improve an unacceptable situation, but to end, eradicate or eliminate it” says Zachariah.

SDG goals are more comprehensive than MDGs. SDG goals cover wide areas like economic growth, peace, climate change, poverty, hunger, environment, health, education, water, sanitation, women empowerment, safe cities and modern energy.

SDGs at a glance

– SDGs are sustainable development goals to be achieved in the next 15 years, by 2030

– SDGs build up on MDGs, which concluded on 31 December 2015

– SDGs began from 1 January 2016.

– There are 17 SDGs with 169 targets

– SDGs are more comprehensive covering areas like peace, climate change, economic growth and safe cities.

– Sustainable development agenda is universal. It covers everyone everywhere.

– SDGs have zero goals. Emphasis is not on reducing, but for ending/eliminating unacceptable situations.

– Major goals include – ending poverty and hunger; ensuring health education, water and sanitation; ensuring gender quality; combating climate change; conserving environment; and promoting peaceful societies.

SDGs build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of United Nations, which concluded on 31 December 2015. SDGs are to be achieved by 2030 by all countries.

Invest on children

The new UN development agenda lays emphasis on investing in children and in removing inequalities. On children, SDG targets aims to end all forms of malnutrition; reduce maternal mortality ratio and under 5 mortality rate; ensure all children have access to pre-primary, primary and secondary education; eliminate child marriage; eliminate trafficking and sexual exploitation; eliminate worst forms of child labour and ensure universal birth registration.


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.


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