2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) is a plan of action for people, the planet and prosperity. There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets to be met by 2030 which aim to wipe out poverty by placing the world on a more sustainable economic, social and environmental path. Education is central to the agenda, in particular SDG 4, which aims to ensure equitable and inclusive quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

What is the 2030 Agenda?

The 2030 Agenda was adopted by all countries in the United Nations in September 2015. While non-binding, the 2030 Agenda will be highly influential, shaping development cooperation and finance flows from a range of sources, including nation states, multilateral organisations, the private sector and philanthropic entities.

Consisting of 17 SDGs, the 2030 Agenda aims to wipe out poverty by placing the world on a more sustainable economic, social and environmental path. The 17 SDGs feature 169 targets to be met by the year 2030 in a range of areas such as health, gender equality, economic growth and climate action.

SDG 4 (‘Quality Education’) features a number of targets and indicators, which cover access and participation, early childhood, school, VET, higher education, skills, gender equality, education infrastructure and teacher training. SDG 4 is also known as ‘Education 2030’.

Reporting on progress towards the 2030 Agenda

The 2030 Agenda reporting structure is primarily focused on a system of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), with each country presenting at least twice by 2030. Australia presented its first VNR at the UN High Level Political Forum in New York in July 2018. The VNR can be accessed on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s page on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Australia’s VNR, which reports on progress against all 17 SDGs, is an opportunity to highlight Australia’s achievements, priorities and challenges – both domestically and internationally – in advancing the 2030 Agenda. However, calculating Australia’s progress is not something that can be done by government alone: the 2030 Agenda is an ‘Agenda for all’, including government, civil society, the private sector, academia and individuals.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade led work on Australia’s VNR. The former Department of Education and Training actively participatied in this whole of government initiative, with a focus on SDG 4.  

More information

Please see the following:

For more information about the SDGs visit the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.

If you would like to register your partnership or commitment in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, visit the Partnerships for SDGs online platform.