NAIROBI: The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs), referred to as the Agenda 2030 are target-based declarations adopted in October. The Goals are expected to guide the UN’s development agenda up to 2030. They cover the entire spectrum of the global development agenda and were developed through a participatory process involving a wide range of stakeholders. The 17 goals and 169 targets replace the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were launched in 2000 and which were planned for achievement by 2015.
Sustainable Development Goal 1 targets to end poverty in all its forms by 2030. The Goal has adopted the extreme poverty measure of living on less than $1.25 a day. Goal 2 seeks to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture while Goal 3 seeks to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Goal 4 aims to promote quality education by ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. Gender equality is the theme for Goal 5 with the overall target of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.
Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all is Goal 6 with a specific target of achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030. Goal 7 aims at ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all while Goal 8 recognises the nexus between economic growth and decent work and thus seeks to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Goal 9 is on industry, innovation and infrastructure where the focus is on building infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and fostering innovation. The reduction of inequalities within and amongst countries is the theme of Goal 10 by ensuring equal opportunities for all.
Goal 11 aims at developing sustainable cities and communities by making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The management of consumption and production patterns for sustainability is the overall theme of Goal 12 while Goal 13 calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts through strengthening resilience and adaptive capacities in all countries and integrating climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning. Both Goals 14 and 15 focus on the environment with the former targeting the marine and oceans ecosystems while the latter targets terrestrial ecosystems. Specific targets under the two goals seek to reduce pollution, restore polluted environments and strengthen conservation. Goal 16 is on promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies, provision of access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Finally, Goal 17 seeks to strengthen and revitalise global partnerships for sustainable development.
The MDGs were launched in 2000 with a timeline of 2015. The eight goals had 21 specific targets. In comparison therefore, the SDGs are more comprehensive than the MDGs in terms of thematic areas and targets. Kenya’s progress in the achievement of MDGs has witnessed mixed fortunes over the Goals’ period. The launch and implementation of the SDGs will have a significant impact on Kenya’s development agenda for 2030. It is therefore imperative to align the country’s development agenda as envisioned in the Kenya Vision 2030 to the SDGs. In my opinion, this will require several initiatives, key among them reviewing and harmonising the comprehensive list of targets for the MDGs with the National Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation System.