2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

History and background

On 25 September 2015 the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, joined 193 Leaders and Ministers from across the globe at the United Nations in New York, to welcome and endorse the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda). Australia actively participated in international discussions to design the 2030 Agenda and supported the involvement of all development actors, including civil society organisations, the private sector, philanthropic organisations and academia.

What is the 2030 Agenda?

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is made up of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a roadmap for global development efforts to 2030 and beyond and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development – a global plan for financing the Sustainable Development Goals.

While non-binding, the 2030 Agenda will be highly influential, shaping development cooperation and finance flows from a range of sources, including nation states, multilateral organisations, the private sector and philanthropic entities.

Visit the Sustainable Development Goals page for more information.

Australia and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The 2030 Agenda is both a domestic and international agenda. It is well aligned with Australia's foreign, security, development and trade interests - especially in promoting regional stability, security and economic prosperity. It also helps Australia in advocating for a strong focus on economic growth and development in the Indo-Pacific region and in promoting gender equality, governance and strengthening tax systems.

2030 Agenda: engaging business

The Ministerial Statement on engaging the private sector in aid and development (August 2015) sets out the Government's commitment to enhance collaboration with the private sector to address development challenges and identifies the private sector as an essential partner to achieving sustainable development outcomes in our region. The Business Partnerships Platform is an agency wide mechanism, where DFAT and the private sector are working together in a flexible way to address development challenges.

DFAT has a partnership with the Global Compact Network Australia (GCNA), enhancing our capacity to engage with businesses whose interests align with advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. Businesses can use the GCNA's Australian SDGs Hub for Business as a resource to engage with and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

So far, over 30 leading Australian CEOs have signed the Global Compact Network Australia's CEO Statement of Support for the Sustainable Development GoalsWe are also partners with the Shared Value Project, allowing us to collaborate with businesses aiming at delivering sustainable social impact while achieving commercial returns. 

DFAT also supports the Business and Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC) to continue engaging with CEO stakeholders in the Asia Pacific region to promote the Sustainable Development Goals. The BSDC has developed an online tool – the SDG Business Hub – to help businesses navigate the 2030 Agenda.

2030 Agenda: engaging civil society

DFAT is working in close partnership with civil society to advance the 2030 Agenda in our aid program. Our policy, DFAT and NGOs: Effective Development Partners emphasizes the need to for civil society groups to adopt multi-stakeholder approaches to sustainable development.

Promoting the uptake of the 2030 Agenda is a priority under our partnership with the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), an NGO peak body which works with a range of development actors to promote the Sustainable Development Goals. DFAT also supports civil society partners, such as the Research for Development Impact Network, with initiatives which contribute to the 2030 Agenda. In June 2017 the RDI brought over 400 leaders in international development together for a conference on Partnering for Impact on Sustainable Development to advance cross-sector approaches to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Closing data gaps

The 2030 Agenda cannot be achieved without good data on the problems we face and the effectiveness of our actions. Without good gender data, for example, it is difficult to devise policy and programs that respond to the differential experiences of men's and women's lives.

Australia is supporting a number of initiatives to close data gaps. The Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) is an individual, gender-sensitive and multi-dimensional measure of poverty. The kNOwVAWdata program aims to strengthen regional and national capacities to measure violence against women in Asia and the Pacific, in line with existing global methodological, ethical and safety standards. The UN Women's flagship program – Making Every Woman and Girl Count – will support the monitoring and implementation of the SDGs through better production and use of gender statistics.

Voluntary National Review

Heads of State and Government and senior Ministers from all UN member states use the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), held in New York in July each year, to coordinate and review worldwide efforts in support of the 2030 Agenda. The HLPF is also a platform for countries to deliver Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of their progress towards the 2030 Agenda.

Australia will deliver its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the 2030 Agenda at the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2018.  The VNR provides an opportunity to highlight Australia's achievements, priorities and challenges – both domestically and internationally – in advancing the 2030 Agenda.

DFAT and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet are leading a whole-of-government process in order to coordinate Australia's implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including the drafting of our first VNR. Relevant Commonwealth agencies will, in turn, coordinate with State and Territory and Municipal Governments. DFAT looks forward to consulting civil society and private sector partners and peak bodies closely in the process of developing Australia's VNR.

For enquiries regarding DFAT's work on the 2030 Agenda or Australia's VNR please contact 2030Agenda@dfat.gov.au

Last Updated: 14 September 2017
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