The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development


In September 2015, the UN Sustainable Development Summit adopted new international Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the period from 2015. Their objective is to improve everyone’s lives and, at the same time, to protect our planet.

The 2030 Agenda “Let’s get the job done”
The 2030 Agenda “Let’s get the job done”© picture alliance / phototshot

Global consensus

The 2030 Agenda was adopted by all member states of the United Nations in New York on 25 September 2015. It brought together the two negotiating processes of the poverty and development agenda of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the heart of the 2030 Agenda are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which replace the MDGs and have a stronger emphasis on the multidimensional nature of sustainability than was the case in the past. The objective of the 2030 Agenda is to shape worldwide development in an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable way. This ambitious global transformation programme seeks to offer future generations prospects for a dignified life. The aim is not to leave the weakest and most vulnerable behind in the process.

Guiding principles

The Sustainable Development Goals are united by five core messages (people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership), which act as guiding principles. Ambitious and comprehensive objectives for 17 areas were set out with the SDGs. These range from eradicating poverty and hunger to good education and climate protection. The objectives are inseparably linked and go hand in hand with each other. This catalogue of objectives aims to achieve a transformation of the international community towards far greater sustainable development by 2030.

The 2030 Agenda is, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this, a milestone for the international order. This order must pursue the aim of global justice if we intend to fight poverty and hunger successfully, avoid refugee movements and get on top of climate change. What is more, we must join forces in tackling these great tasks.

(Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel)


Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals© UN

Unlike the MDGs, the Sustainable Development Goals apply equally to industrialised countries, emerging economies and developing nations. The countries define their national contribution based on their resources and their level of ambition. The 2030 Agenda thus intends to break with the principle of donor - recipient relations and to lay the foundations for a transformed global partnership. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda safeguards development financing for the 2030 Agenda. All areas of the political arena, as well as actors from civil society, the business world and academia, are involved in the efforts to implement these objectives. This multi-stakeholder approach is an expression of the international community’s belief that global challenges can only be mastered sustainably by working together.

National and international implementation

The Federal Government adopted the German Sustainable Development Strategy 2016 as the essential framework for the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In the strategy, the Federal Government sets out its implementation plan for the Agenda and specifies what it is doing to achieve this objective. Measurable indicators, published every two years, are assigned to each of the 17 SDGs. The German Sustainable Development Strategy is therefore the primary national framework document for implementing the 2030 Agenda and for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in, through and with Germany. In its revised 2016 version, the strategy places an emphasis on the international dimension and therefore comprises a host of foreign policy indicators.

The annual High‑Level Political Forum (HLPF) serves as an implementation mechanism at the international level. The UN member states report on their progress in implementing the SDGs at this forum. Germany presented its first implementation report to the HLPF in 2016.

Find out more:

Outcome document of the UN summit for the adoption of the 2030 Agenda PDF / 328 KB

Executive Summary of the Report of the German Government to the High‑Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2016 (website:sustainabledevelopement.un-org)


More information on the various SDGs


UN SDG Action Campaign in Bonn

Top of page