At the United Nations General Assembly this weekend in New York, U.N. member states are set to adopt the new Sustainable Development Goals. The goals are meant to guide development priorities around the globe over the next 15 years. Critics and supporters alike are declaring them to be highly ambitious — maybe even too ambitious.
The SDGs, as they've come to be called in humanitarian lingo, replace the Millennium Development Goals, which were adopted in 2000 and expire this year.
The MDGs dealt primarily with poverty, education and health in the poorest countries. The SDGs hit all of those topics but also tackle global inequality, environmental issues and access to technology.
Here's a rundown of the 17 goals and some of the key targets included in the 169 sub-goals. Here's where you'll find the complete list with all the sub-goals.
1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
This is one of the most ambitious goals. It includes a target of having no one living in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day — anywhere in the world by the year 2030.
2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
This goal calls for a doubling of agricultural production by small-scale farmers.
3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
This SDG sets a target of getting global maternal mortality (the number of women who die each year during childbirth) down from the current rate of more than 200 per 100,000 live births to 70. Many African nations would need to dramatically improve conditions for pregnant mothers to reach this target. In South Sudan, for instance, more than 2,000 of every 100,000 pregnant mothers die each year as a result of giving birth.
4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The expiring MDGs called for universal access to primary school. The SDGs say that students everywhere should have free access to education through high school.
5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
This goal aims to end discrimination and violence toward women and girls. It also calls for the elimination of child marriage and female genital mutilation.