Learn in a Flash: Sustainable Development Goals

You may have heard of the Sustainable Development Goals and Millennium Development goals mentioned in class or in the news. It can definitely be difficult trying to distinguish between the two and understanding what the implications of the goals are. So here’s a quick guide to help you learn the basics of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) vs. the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs):

In 2000, the largest gathering of world leaders in history adopted the UN Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets, with the deadline of 2015, that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals. The declaration created 8 goals addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions-income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion-while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability. They are also considered basic human rights, i.e. the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter, and security. The 8 goals were:


To learn more about the specific targets described in each goal, read here.

Although the MDGs recorded a lot of progress within these issues, many of the goals were not met by 2015. Read more about the MDGs’ success and failures here.


Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

In 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals were created to replace the Millennium Development Goals. Similar to the MDGs, the SDGs have a deadline and multiple target goals within each general goal. These 17 new goals seek to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. Chart_of_UN_Sustainable_Development_Goals

Read about each goal here!

Now you know the difference between the MDGs and SDGs! The real question is: can these goals can be reached by 2030?

Katie Talley is a summer intern at Concern Worldwide U.S.