The future of humanity and of our planet lies in our hands. It lies also in the hands of today’s younger generation who will pass the torch to future generations. We have mapped the road to sustainable development; it will be for all of us to ensure that the journey is successful and its gains irreversible.

Tomorrow I'm meeting with the Honorouble Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development for the Government of Canada, and to prepare for this meeting I trimmed my hair (I loved the flow but it was getting unruly), and decided to read up on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that the United Nations drafted in 2015. As a student of development, I had become well acquainted with the Millennium Development Goals, but had not taken the time after graduating to learn about what was to replace them at the end of 2015. I'm glad I have now. 

In reading through this new vision for our planet, I am struck by how ambitious some of these new goals and their targets are, but what I find powerful about this list is that there is an area for every human being on this planet to contribute to in their own way. These goals give me hope for a better future knowing that millions of people will work towards their fulfillment by 2030. We all search for purpose to give our lives meaning, so why not look to the new Sustainable Development Goals for guidance? 

Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*

Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development