The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will come into force at the end of this year and will replace the UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs became a rallying point and successfully mobilized the world against poverty and for development. Since 1990 extreme poverty has been halved globally, more children are going to school, fewer are dying of malaria, HIV/Aids and tuberculosis, and more people have access to clean water. Millions of lives have been are saved thanks to collective efforts.
While the MDGs focused on poverty reduction and overseas development aid, the SDGs include all dimensions of sustainable development - social, environmental and economic aspects. The SDGs focus on strengthening institutions, good governance and stability, which is a fundamental problem when it comes to poverty reduction and sustainable development, especially in fragile states and societies.
All 193 UN member states have been involved in developing the Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, civil society and the private sector have made valuable contributions. Norway will continue to emphasize that all countries are responsible for prioritizing their own development in order to reach the universal Sustainable Development Goals.
Going forward, Norway's efforts will concentrate in particular on promoting education, global health, peaceful societies and good governance, women's rights as well as climate, the management of natural resources and the environment, as well as access to sustainable energy. The reduction of child mortality and promoting maternal health will also remain Norwegian priorities, as well as universal access to health care.
We must ensure that the SDGs receive financing from a wide range of sources - national and international, public and private, and that funds are used as efficiently as possible. Norway will build on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the outcome document of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. We will work to ensure that public funds are used more efficiently and that countries encourage private investment. Innovation, new approaches and increased cooperation are required to ensure the Sustainable Development Goals are fulfilled.