The Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere. The 17 Goals were adopted by all United Nations Member Statesmeeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 25-27 September 2015, as the Organization celebrated its 70th anniversary, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which set out a 15-year plan to achieve the Goals:
“On behalf of the peoples we serve, we have adopted a historic decision on a comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centred set of universal and transformative Goals and targets. We commit ourselves to working tirelessly for the full implementation of this Agenda by 2030. We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. We are committed to achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced and integrated manner. We will also build upon the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals and seek to address their unfinished business.”
Today, progress is being made in many places, but, overall, action to meet the SDGs is not yet advancing at the speed or scale required. 2020 needs to usher in a decade of ambitious action to deliver the Goals by 2030.
The ‘leave no one behind’ principle is especially relevant for LGBTI people, who have been repeatedly left behind by national and international development initiatives. Discriminatory laws, projects that don’t acknowledge their specific needs and negative social attitudes have all combined to hold LGBTI people back. The impacts of this are felt by LGBTI communities in all parts of the world – lower income, worse health, less education, among others. As a result, poverty as a whole will never truly be eradicated until no one is left behind, including LGBTI persons.