UN working group Issue Zero Draft with 17 SDGs

Sustainable-Development-Goals-to-Replace-Millennium-Development-GoalsThe Co-Chairs of the Open Working Group (OWG) on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have issued the “zero draft” of goals and targets. Titled ‘Introduction and Proposed Goals and Targets on Sustainable Development for the Post2015 Development Agenda,’ the zero draft proposes 17 SDGs to be attained by 2030, as well as associated targets. OWG Co-Chairs Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya, and Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary, note in their 2 June letter to all UN Member States that the zero draft includes a proposed focus area to “reduce inequality within and among countries,” which brings the number of proposed goals to 17.


In the narrative “chapeau” to the Goals, which was previously issued on 12 May 2014, the document states that “poverty eradication is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development,” also recognizing sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and natural resource management and protection as essential requirements for sustainable development. It reaffirms, inter alia: the importance of human rights principles, including the rule of law, good governance and gender equality; different approaches and visions to achieve the three dimensions of sustainable development, in accordance with national circumstances and priorities; and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR). The draft recognizes specific challenges faced by each country in achieving sustainable development, while underscoring special challenges facing African countries, least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS), as well as the challenges facing middle-income countries (MICs) and countries experiencing conflicts.


Proposed targets focus on specific proposed Goals while also addressing cross-cutting issues. For instance, the goal on ending poverty includes a target on integrating biodiversity conservation measures into national and local development strategies, planning processes and poverty reduction strategies. The draft also notes the need to focus on vulnerable groups, particularly women, in goals on ending poverty, ending hunger, securing water and sanitation for all, among others.


Proposed goal one, ‘End poverty in all its forms everywhere,’ includes eight targets, including eradicating extreme poverty.

Goal two, ‘End hunger, achieve food security and adequate nutrition for all, and promote sustainable agriculture,’ calls for ensuring all people have access to adequate, safe, affordable and nutritious food all year round and to substantially increase the incomes and productivity of small family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, among its 11 targets.

Goal three, ‘Attain healthy life for all at all ages,’ includes nine targets, including: reducing maternal deaths; ending preventable newborn, infant and under-five deaths; ending HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases; reducing deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including halving road traffic deaths; and achieving universal health coverage (UHC).

Goal four focuses on providing ‘equitable and inclusive quality education and life-long learning opportunities for all,’ and has nine targets, including on ensuring equal access for all to affordable tertiary education, education for sustainable development and enhancing teaching quality.

Goal five, ‘Attain gender equality, empower women and girls everywhere,’ aims to end all forms of discrimination against women and girls and engage men and boys in efforts to promote and achieve gender equality among its 11 targets.

Goal six, ‘Secure water and sanitation for all for a sustainable world,’ addresses safe and affordable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), water quality, wastewater management, water-use efficiency and integrated water resources management (IWRM) among its eight targets.

Goal seven is to ‘Ensure access to affordable, sustainable, and reliable modern energy services for all,’ and includes six targets, including to double primary energy supply per capita per LDCs.

Goal eight is to ‘Promote strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all,’ and includes 16 targets.

Goal nine, ‘Promote sustainable industrialization,’ has 12 targets.

Goal ten, ‘Reduce inequality within and among countries,’ has seven targets on reducing inequality among social groups within countries and five targets on international actions to reduce inequalities among nations.

Goal eleven, ‘Build inclusive, safe and sustainable cities and human settlements,’ includes nine targets, such as ensuring universal access to adequate and affordable housing and eliminating slum-like conditions.

Goal twelve, ‘Promote sustainable consumption and production patterns,’ includes 11 targets, such as decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation and sound management of chemicals and hazardous waste.

Goal thirteen, ‘Promote actions at all levels to address climate change,’ has five targets. Climate change, natural disasters and resilience are also addressed in goals on ending poverty, ending hunger and promoting sustainable agriculture and building sustainable cities, among others.

Goal fourteen, ‘Attain conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas,’ has 11 targets. It includes two targets on LDCs and SIDS, which focus on: eliminating subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing; and increasing the economic returns to SIDS and LDCs from the sustainable development of coastal and marine resources from within their jurisdictions.

Goal fifteen, ‘Protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems and halt all biodiversity loss,’ has 11 targets that address threatened species, conservation and sustainable use, restoration, forests and mountain ecosystems, land degradation, poaching and trafficking of endangered species, invasive alien species, fair and equitable sharing of benefits and free prior and informed consent (FPIC), among other issues.

Goal sixteen, ‘Achieve peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law, effective and capable institutions,’ has ten targets on fostering peaceful and inclusive societies and seven targets on the rule of law, effective and capable institutions.

Goal seventeen, ‘Strengthen and enhance the means of implementation and global partnership for sustainable development,’ includes specific targets for each of the 16 previous goals. For example, climate change targets related to means of implementation include building a climate change goal based on the outcome of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC and operationalizing the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as soon as possible.


Under the first 16 SDGs, there are 166 targets. Goal 17 has 46 MOI targets.

The OWG will resume discussions with “informal-informal” consultations on 9-11 June 2014, during which the Co-Chairs will “take an initial sounding” of delegations’ views on the zero draft, and give States an opportunity to consult on the proposed goals, targets, and means of implementation contained in the draft.


OWG-12 will convene on 16-20 June.


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