What are the Sustainable Development Goals?
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by 193 member states attending the
United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York in 2015. The Goals are part
of the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable
Development Goals comprise a total of 169 targets, which seek to tackle a wide range of
issues facing both developed and developing countries. These issues include poverty,
inequality, climate change, inclusive societies and access to health and education.
What is the Voluntary National Review?
All 193 member states are expected, at least once, to review national progress towards the
Sustainable Development Goals and present the report to the United Nations High Level
Political Forum. This process is called a Voluntary National Review and is part of Agenda
2030. In 2018, 47 countries presented a Voluntary National Review including Canada and
Spain. The UK will be presenting its Voluntary National Review in July 2019 at the High
Level Political Forum alongside 50 other countries.
Why is the Voluntary National Review important?
The Voluntary National Review will be our opportunity to use evidence from across the UK
(government, civil society and the private sector) together with data on the global indicators
to assess UK progress on all 17 Goals. It is a stepping stone towards achieving the
Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
What information will be in the Voluntary National Review?
The Voluntary National Review will cover all 17 Goals. It will demonstrate the UK’s
domestic and international activity and will be underpinned by data. The United Nations has
set five focus Goals for 2019. Our report is expected to go into more depth on these Goals.
The Goals are - 4 (education), 8 (work and economic growth), 10 (reduced inequalities), 13
(climate action) and 16 (peace and justice).
How can I contribute to the Voluntary National Review?
The Government is committed to ensuring the Voluntary National Review is inclusive and
transparent. The Sustainable Development Goals are for everybody and we want to hear
from a wide range of stakeholders either through our Voluntary National Review website or
directly through a variety of events that will take place across the country. The Government
encourages any group, organisation, or individual contributing to the implementation of the
Sustainable Development Goals in the UK to share what they are doing.
Who is leading the Voluntary National Review?
The Department for International Development (DFID) is leading co-ordination and the
overall drafting process for the Voluntary National Review. DFID is being supported by the
Cabinet Office and other UK Government Departments to prepare for the Voluntary
National Review. DFID is also working closely with the Devolved Administrations in
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure the Voluntary National Review reflects
activity across the whole of the UK.
What are the key dates associated with the Voluntary National Review?
Below is a list of key activities and deadlines for the UK’s Voluntary National Review:
- Ongoing engagement to inform initial drafting between October and December.
- Sharing case studies of how people and organisations are contributing to delivering the
Sustainable Development Goals through the Voluntary National Review website, if
possible by 11 January 2019.
- Roundtable events with different groups of stakeholders on emerging messages and key
findings in the new year (precise timing to be confirmed).
- Submission of a main messages document to the United Nations by 17 May 2019.
- Submission of the full Voluntary National Review to the United Nations by 14 June 2019.
- Presentation of the Voluntary National Review at the ministerial meeting of the United
Nations High Level Political Forum from 16-18 July 2019.
- The first Head of Government-level review of the Sustainable Development Goals at the
United Nations General Assembly in September 2019.
If you have a have a query, please get in touch at SDGs@dfid.gov.uk.
Which UK government departments are involved in delivering the goals in the UK
If you have a Goal specific query on the UK’s Voluntary National Review, please refer to the list below and contact SDGs@dfid.gov.uk to be put in touch with the relevant department
Goal 1: No Poverty - Department for Work and Pensions
Goal 2: Zero Hunger - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Goal 3: Good Health - Department for Health and Social Care
Goal 4: Quality Education - Department for Education
Goal 5: Gender Equality - Government Equalities Office
Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Goal 8: Decent work and Economic Growth - HM Treasury
Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Goal 10: Reduced inequalities - Government Equalities Office
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities - Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Goal 13: Climate Action - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Goal 14: Life Below Water - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Goal 15: Life on Land - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Security - Home Office
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals - Department for International Development
Goals 4, 8, 10, 13, 16 and 17 are goals under review at the UN in 2019.
How has the UK Government implemented the Sustainable Development Goals?
All UK Government Departments are responsible for delivering the Goals in those policy
areas for which they have responsibility. Departments have highlighted how their priority
programmes and activities will contribute to delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals
in their Single Departmental Plans which provide the basis for the Government’s planning
and performance framework.
High level summaries of Single Departmental Plans were published on 23 May
this year, together with examples of how Government policies are contributing to the
Sustainable Development Goals.