HomeSustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG logo

SDG icons

Since the foundation of the United Nations, one of its main goals and areas of activity had been to strengthen international development cooperation. According to the Charter of the United Nations (1945), the main purpose of the organization is to promote the conditions of economic and social progress and development. As early as in the 1940s and 1950s, it was clear that the need to improve living standards in the world’s poorest countries and strengthening the international security were key issues, so decisions had been already adopted within the organization that provided international support for the economic development of the aforementioned countries. From the 1960s, decade by decade, international development programmes were conducted (usually called “UN Development Decades”) in order to help these areas. It was an important moment when in 1986 as a third-generation human right, the right to development was acknowledged as the ethical basis for development cooperation.

At the turn of the millennium, another important period of international development cooperation was the adoption of the so-called “Millennium Development Goals” (MDGs) for the period 2000–2015 with the focus and priority of significantly reducing the share of people living in extreme poverty and hunger. Due to the initial shortcomings and limited results of its implementation, MDGs have been criticized for many reasons including that it did not take into account the concept of sustainability which had been accepted universally in the early 1990s.

In 2012, right after the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), it became necessary to define exactly the future goals of sustainable development. Following the establishment of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (hereafter: HLP), an intergovernmental working group started its work under the aegis of the United Nations with the aim of making a proposal which refers to the goals of sustainable development while involving the civil society. The establishment of the goals was crucial as it had to go beyond the Millennium Declaration and MDGs by being universally effective and the same for every country of the world, not just for developing ones.

In September 2015, the 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted the new integrated sustainable development framework, known as the Agenda 2030 (officially: Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development) which outlines ideas on ending poverty, or reducing global inequalities among many others. One of its key features is to take on a more comprehensive approach of sustainable development programmes and sets targets and goals for each country and region of the world. The Agenda’s focal points are the so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specified for every nation and by “leaving no-one behind” from the benefits of the objectives.

The Agenda has a total of 17 goals including 169 targets and nearly 230 indicators which aim to assess several aspects of sustainable development and to monitor them until 2030. The construction of the indicator system is the responsibility of the Inter Agency and Expert Group (IAEG).

The aim of our online webpage (only in Hungarian) is twofold. On the one hand, through the role of the HCSO in maintaining the data collection, we want to bring closer the framework and main indicators of SDGs to those who are interested. On the other hand, we intend to publish the results in an informative and interactive way with their continuous monitoring and data review in line with international events.

The indicators mentioned are related to the UN global objectives, one of the key goals of which is to ensure international comparability. The development of a relevant indicator system for Hungary is a task still ahead of us, which HCSO will elaborate with the involvement of state experts and researchers in the near future.

SDG main indicators