The Sustainable Development Goals: a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.
The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, commonly referred to as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals, is one of the most ambitious plans of our time. Divided into 17 goals that reflect the world’s greatest environmental, social, economic, and political challenges, the SDGs provide a framework for people from all backgrounds, sectors, and regions to work together towards a better future. The SDGs represent an historic effort “to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.” But achieving real and lasting change in the world is neither simple nor cheap. Estimates on the annual cost of achieving the SDGs (across all sectors) range from about $US 3.9 trillion to $US 6 trillion. Given the current commitments of governments and other organisations globally, this leaves a world-wide funding gap in the range of $3 trillion to $5 trillion annually.
Former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon’s, remarks at the 2015 UN Private Sector Forum ring with urgency:
“I am counting on the private sector to drive success. Now is the time to mobilise the global business community as never before. The case is clear. Realising the Sustainable Development Goals will improve the environment for doing business and building markets. Trillions of dollars in public and private funds are to be redirected towards the SDGs, creating huge opportunities for responsible companies to deliver solutions.”
The UAE commitment to the SDGs
The SDGs reflect an optimism about humankind’s shared future, and a recognition that each person has a role to play in the co-creation of our shared future. The UAE continues to show its commitment to the fulfillment of the SDGs on a federal level through the development of the National Committee on the SDGs in the UAE Federal Government, whose mandate it is to align the work of all UAE ministries around the SDGs, as part of existing development frameworks such as Visions 2021 and 2071. This alignment can be seen in Emirate-level strategies that have a shared goal of reaching the SDGs by 2030, such as the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, Environment Vision 2030 (Abu Dhabi), Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy and the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, among others. Additionally, the National Committee’s report, the United Arab Emirates and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, states that “Engagement with the private sector to achieve national development goals is part of the operating model of the UAE government.” This commitment to partner with the private sector in achieving the SDGs provides a strong basis for the need and relevance of this report.