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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Key resources

UNICEF Key Asks and Principles for SDG Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and SDG Implementation Plans

2019 Guides and issue briefs

At the upcoming 2019 High Level Political Forum (HLPF), the overarching theme will be Empowering People and Ensuring Inclusiveness and EqualityAdditionally, the following six goals are under review: SDG 4 Quality Education; SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth; SDG 10 Reducing Inequalities; SDG 13 Climate Action; SDG 16 Peace and Justice; and SDG 17 Partnerships.

UNICEF has developed the below issue briefs on cross-cutting areas of importance to children and youth in the context of 2019 SDG National Review Activities. 

We have also developed a set of issue specific briefs, relating to the goals under review at HLPF in 2019

The full set of all 2019 HLPF SDG issue briefs above are available in English, French, Spanish, and Russian.             

2018 Guides and issue briefs

At the 2018 High Level Political Forum (HLPF), the overarching theme was  Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.  Additionally the following six goals were under review: SDG 6 Water and Sanitation; SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 12 Consumption and Production; SDG 15 Life on Land; and SDG 17 Partnerships. 

UNICEF developed the below issue briefs on cross-cutting areas of importance to children and youth in the context of SDG National Review Activities.

We have also developed a set of issue specific briefs, relating to the goals under review at HLPF in 2018

2017 Guides and Issue Briefs

The 2017 HLPF overarching theme was Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world. Six additional named goals also received special attention: Goal 1: No poverty; Goal 2: Zero Hunger; Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being; Goal 5: Gender Equality; Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and Goal 14: Life Below Water. UNICEF developed the following issue briefs:

UNICEF Reports

  • Progress for Every Child in the SDG Era
    (UNICEF, March 2018)
    This report assesses the world's performance on the SDGs to date, focusing on 44 indicators that directly concern 2030's most important constituency: children.  The analysis reveals that most countries have insufficient data to assess whether they are on track to achieve each of the SDG targets, and where data are available, an astounding number of countries need to speed up progress.  
  • UN Coherence in Action: Delivering Results for Children
    (UNICEF, September 2017)
    We won’t achieve our ambitious goals for children, or the Sustainable Development Goals more broadly, without working with our sister organizations in the UN. Outlined in this paper are some case studies that we can build on and learn from. As UNICEF increasingly engages in UN reform, expands its partnerships with sister UN agencies and leverages broader UN processes, greater clarity is emerging on how the rights of all children are best positioned within various collaborations and more importantly within the wider UN mandate for reaching the SDGs for children. 
  • Financing for children and youth under the Addis Ababa Financing for Development Agenda
    (UNICEF, November 2016)
    This analysis reviews progress in the implementation of commitments to children and youth under the Addis Ababa Financing for Development Agenda. The note highlights the close link between investing in children and youth and the  wider aim of achieving sustainable and inclusive growth under the 2030 Agenda. Despite progress, national and international financing trends are not on track in many countries to meet even basic commitments in areas like education, health, and social protection. The note also makes a pitch for investing in more and higher quality age-disaggregated data to better determine how much of public finance actually reaches disadvantaged children on the ground.
  • Is Every Child Counted? Status of data for children in the SDGs [pdf]
    (UNICEF, September 2016)
    This short report provides a simple yet stark analysis of existing available data on the situation of children and highlights where major data gaps exist, including on key child-related indicators and data that can be disaggregated.
  • Mapping the SDGs and the Convention on the Rights of the Child
    (UNICEF, September 2016)
    This is an interactive document aims to encourage an in-depth and broad-based exploration of the links and synergies between the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  All of the Global Goals are relevant for children, however, the mapping aims to reinforce, but also to move beyond, the more obvious links between the Global Goals and the Convention - such as in the areas of health, education and violence. It assumes that all of the Global Goals are relevant for children, not only those which specifically refer to children.
  • Global goals for every child: Healthy, safe, educated and empowered children and young people are the key to a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world [PDF]
    (UNICEF, September 2015)
    UNICEF welcomes this ambitious and universal ‘plan of action for people, planet and prosperity’, and commits to do all it can to achieve the goals. The organization will work in partnership with governments, civil society, business, academia and the United Nations family – and especially children and young people – to scale up what works, innovate for improved solutions and results, measure progress and share lessons learned.
  • A Post-2015 World Fit for Children: A review of the open working group on Sustainable Development Goals report from a child rights perspective [PDF]
    The Open Working Group report was a major step forward -- for children, all people and the planet. Read UNICEF's analysis with a child rights lens. Also in FrenchSpanish, Chinese, Portuguese and Russian

Child-Friendly Learning Materials

For all child-friendly materials, see here

The Road to the SDGs: A Discussion with students
Animated video to help children learn about important concepts for people and planet as covered in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Also available (subtitles) in ArabicChineseFrenchRussian, Spanish and English (for hearing impaired).  

The World We Want: A guide to the goals for children and young people (English) [PDF]
This tool was originally developed Movimiento Mundial la Infania de Latinoamerica y El Caribe (Global Movement for Children in Latin America and the Caribbean) and partners, including UNICEF, to teach children about the SDGs in a simple and child-friendly way.  It has now been updated and integrated into the World's Largest Lesson Initiative.  Also available in FrenchSpanishArabicMandarinRussianBengaliIndonesianHindi.  Please note: If you need high-resolution files for printing, please contact soshea@unicef.org.   

A Post-2015 Agenda Understood by and Inspiring to Children and Young People: Final report of the e-consultation with children and youth on the SDGs draft declaration [PDF]
Over the month of June (2015) a rapid e-consultation with children and young people on the zero draft of the SDGs’ Declaration was conducted.  The consultation explained the SDGs and asked participating children and young people to “think of the Declaration like an essay that introduces the SDGs to the world and explains why they exist and why they are so important. What if you were the lead writer of that essay – what would it say?” Five guiding questions -- developed in collaboration with students from the United Nations International School – were posted to the consultation space to help the participants express their views. This is the report of that consultation which received  inputs from thousands of children representing 47 countries.  

Morocco National Consultation on the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. During preparatory activities for the 2016 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) UNICEF Morocco, the United Nations and the Kingdom of Morocco organized a workshop with young people, including immigrants and the disabled, to hear their views on the SDGs and identify the role(s) they can play in achieving the goals.

United Nations System

Mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Guide to UN Country Teams [PDF]
(United Nations Development Group, Last updated February 2017)
This document is designed as a reference guide for UN Country Teams (UNCTs), under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinators, that wish to support Member States and national stakeholders in tailoring The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to national contexts (“mainstreaming”) while protecting its integrity. As such, this guide does not seek to be either prescriptive or exclusive, but rather to spark thinking by UNCTs on how they may wish to proceed. It features an array of approaches and tools that UNCTs can discuss with Member States to adapt the Agenda to national, sub-national and local conditions and realities, incorporating regional perspectives where appropriate. These approaches and tools should be treated by UNCTs as a menu of options, with the case studies providing examples of how some countries have begun to develop and use relevant tools. Though this reference guide was primarily prepared for UNCTs, the steps it describes, the case studies it highlights, and the publicly available tools that it refers to, might also be of direct use to a broader audience of government officials and development practitioners.

Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The final outcome document of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Process. (August 2015)

Proposal of the open working group for Sustainable Development Goals
The Member State led Open Working Group on SDGs final report of goals and targets for consideration by the United Nations General Assembly.  (July 2014)

The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet [PDF]
Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General On the Post-2015 Agenda (December 2014)

A life of dignity for all: Accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015: Report of the Secretary-General [PDF] 
This report was produced pursuant to General Assembly resolution 65/1, in which the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to report annually on progress in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals until 2015 and to make recommendations for further steps to advance the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015. (September 2013)

Realizing the future we want for all: Report to the Secretary-General [PDF]
Report from the United Nations System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda. (July 2012)

The global conversation begins: Emerging views for a new development agenda
United Nations Development Group report on results from the national, regional and global thematic consultations on Post-2015, to date. (September 2013)

A Million Voices: The world we want [PDF]
This report by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) collects the perspectives on the 'world we want' from over 1 million people around the globe. For almost one year, people have engaged energetically in 88 national consultations, 11 thematic dialogues, and through the MY World global survey. As member states consult on the shape and content of a successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) beyond 2015, it is hoped that the opportunity to listen to these voices will contribute to reaching consensus on what is needed to move towards a common sustainable future.(September 2013)

Delivering the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Opportunities at the national and local levels [PDF]
Summary of UNDG global and national consultations on Means of Implementation (MOI).  The main message of the dialogues and of this report is that, irrespective of income status or region, the implementation of the new agenda will depend on actions taken at national and local levels. It is there that attention will need to be focused and investments made, if we are to make the transformative shifts which advancing human and sustainable development requires.(September 2014).  Also available in French and Spanish. (September 2014)


Investing in All Children: Towards equitable, inclusive, and sustainable development
(Nicholas Alipui and Shannon O'Shea for the Harvard International Review; September 2015)
It is only through investing in all children—as well as cultivating their understanding of the soon-to-be adopted Sustainable Development Goals, and inspiring them to take positive action in their own lives and communities—that the global community will succeed in promoting equitable, inclusive, and sustainable development. Updated August 2016 for Impakter Magazine

Your Rights, Your World: The power of youth in the age of the Sustainable Development Goals [PDF]
(Occidental at the United Nations Youth Task force; December 2015)
This report was prepared for UNICEF as a semester long youth-led research project to identify examples of good practice and to form 
recommendations for engaging children and young people in the implementation of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals. 

Child-sensitive accountability and the post-2015 agenda: To keep the post-2015 agenda on track, give children and young people a voice [PDF]
(Child to Child, Children International, Plan, Save the Children, SOS Children's Villages, World Vision; 2015)
The emerging post-2015 agenda is an opportunity for those of us in the world to agree on the kind of future we want. The decision makers who articulate the goals and set the targets are helping to shape the future that today’s children and young people who will live. These children and young people need ways to make their voices heard and make governments and other decision makers fulfil their commitments.

Child poverty indicators to measure progress for the SDGs [PDF]
(March 2015)
A joint brief by a coalition of partners working to end child poverty.

A new global partnership: Eradicate poverty and transform economies through sustainable development [PDF]
Recommendations from an independent panel of eminent persons from around the world. The High-level Panel on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda was established by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and co-chaired by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Prime Minister David Cameron. 

An action agenda for sustainable development [PDF]
Report from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. 

Joint report to the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda [PDF]
Report prepared by the United Nations Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Archival Material: Post-2015 Issue Briefs

UNICEF has developed a set of "two pagers" on key issues for children that should be included in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Each brief contains some rationale text, suggested target(s) and a data snapshot on the issue. Download briefs separately below or the full set here

    Towards a post-2015 World Fit for Children: UNICEF key messages on the Post-2015 Development Agenda [PDF]
    Ten key messages that speak to guiding principles and suggested actions in relation to Post-2015.  Also available in Spanish and French.

    Sustainable development starts with safe, healthy and well-educated children [PDF]
    A companion to UNICEF's 10 key messages, this position paper aims to deepen the message on Sustainable Development, backed by a strong evidence base that aims to ‘make the case’ for why children are central to sustainable development.  Also available in Spanish and French.

    Child poverty in the Post-2015 Development Agenda [PDF]
    June 2014 UNICEF issue brief from the Division of Policy and Strategy.  



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