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Sustainable Development Goals

What are Sustainable Development Goals and how do they relate to education?


In 2015, all 193 United Nations member states committed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that the countries will use to shape their policies and agendas. The goals are designed to be interrelated, measurable, action-oriented, and achieved by the year 2030.

The 17 global SDGs are:

  1. No poverty;
  2. Zero hunger;
  3. Good health and well-being;
  4. Quality education;
  5. Gender equality;
  6. Clean water and sanitation;
  7. Affordable and clean energy;
  8. Decent work and economic growth;
  9. Industry, innovation, and infrastructure;
  10. Reduced inequalities;
  11. Sustainable cities and communities;
  12. Responsible consumption and production;
  13. Climate action;
  14. Life below water;
  15. Life on land;
  16. Peace, justice, and strong institutions; and
  17. Partnerships for the goals.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, Quality Education, pertains to ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. The complete set of education targets captured in SDG 4 is in the full report, Quick Guide to Education Indicators for SDG 4. Education-related targets are also embedded in seven other goals.

SOURCE: UNESCO Institute for Statistics. (2018). Quick Guide to Education Indicators for SDG 4; U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs; U.S. Department of State, Office of International Organizations; U.S. General Services Administration; and U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy. (2017). U.S. National Statistics for the UN Sustainable Development Goals; United States Agency for International Development. (2017). Sustainable Development Goals (archived).

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