The Sustainable Development Goals are Coming to Life

The Sustainable Development Goals are Coming to Life

On September 2015, the Agenda 2030 was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. Six months after this historic event, evidence abounds that the SDGs are coming to life. Countries around the world are aligning their national development plans with the new goals.

Many governments have called on the UN to support them in this endeavor. The United Nations Development Group (UNDG), comprised of over 30 UN agencies, is responding to these requests, guided by a common approach (Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support) which builds on our long experience in supporting countries to achieve their development objectives.

The publication

Cover-SDGs-Are-Coming-to-LifeThe Sustainable Development Goals are Coming to Life – Stories of Country Implementation and UN Support provides insights into the range of actions and partnerships for the roll-out and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the country level.

This publication provides a glimpse into the early efforts of 16 countries to bring the global SDGs to life, and the role United Nations Country Teams play in the process.

It illustrates how these countries are beginning to integrate the 2030 Agenda into visions, strategies and plans at the national, subnational and local levels.

The country efforts include raising public awareness, seeking engagement of different stakeholders, adapting the SDGs to national and local contexts, increasing coherence across policy areas and between levels of government, assessing risk and strengthening monitoring and accountability mechanisms.

[Download – English PDF]

Stories of Country Implementation and UN Support


SDGs-Cabo-VerdeCabo Verde: Initiating the SDG implementation in a Small Island Developing State

The Government of Cabo Verde, in partnership with the UN, convened an international conference on the ‘Sustainable Development Goals in Middle-Income and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)’. In the run-up to the UN Sustainable Development Summit, the event contributed to the global discussions on the specific needs of SIDS in the context of the the new universal agenda on sustainable development.


SDGs-MauritaniaMauritania: Demonstrating early efforts to mainstream SDGs within a new national development strategy

The Government of Mauritania undertook a Rapid Integrated Assessment with UN support to inform its new Strategy of Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity for 2016–2030. The results showed that 92 SDG targets are represented in the existing strategic framework, suggesting good integration so far, with gaps to be addressed.


SDGs-Sierra-LeoneSierra Leone: 
Setting the stage for SDG progress in a crisis-affected country

Despite a devastating decade-long civil war (1991–2001), Sierra Leone made significant progress towards achieving the MDGs. However, in 2014–2015 the country was hit hard by the Ebola crisis as well as a coincidental collapse in international iron ore prices presenting a considerable challenge for the country’s Vision 2035 of becoming a middle-income country.


SDGs-UgandaUganda: Aligning development plans and budgeting with the SDGs

Uganda is one of the first countries to align its national planning processes to the 2030 Agenda. In 2014, its government committed to integrating the SDGs into its 2015/16–2019/20 National Development Plan (NDPII), which was formally launched in mid-2015.


Arab States

SDGs-Egypt-2Egypt: Aligning the nation’s plans with the 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063

Egypt has endorsed both the global 2030 Agenda and the regional African Union Agenda 2063, which strives to enable Africa to remain focused and committed to the ideals envisaged in the context of a rapidly changing world.


SDGs-Moroco-2Morocco: Harnessing the power of multi-stakeholder forums to adapt the SDGs to national and local contexts

Morocco’s national priorities are derived from its 2011 constitutional reforms with a focus to: complete the democratic transition and strengthen human rights; improve its economic viability…


SOM_feature_sdglargestlessonSomalia: Embarking on a new national development planning process

Somalia is recovering from three decades of internal struggle, which led to large numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons, an economy dependent on remittances and international aid, and levels of insecurity that remain among the highest in the world.


Asia and the Pacific

SDGs-IndonesiaIndonesia: Promoting inclusive approaches to localize the SDGs

Indonesia has been involved in the SDGs since their early conception in 2012 when former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was appointed as a Co-Chair of the High-Level Panel of eminent persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.


SDGs-PakistanPakistan: Making progress on the SDGs through commitment and institutional readiness 

While Pakistan struggled to meet the MDGs, due in part to a lack of awareness and ownership early in the process, the SDG era is being met with early political commitment and national ownership.


SDGs-PhillipinesPhilippines: Promoting institutional coordination

The Philippine government has embraced the need for the country to mainstream the SDGs into its next national six-year development plan (2017–2022) and the 25-year development programme called ‘Ambisyon Natin (Our Ambition) 2040’.


Europe and Central Asia

SDGs-GeorgiaGeorgia: Prioritizing SDG implementation towards institutional coordination and policy coherence

Georgia is enjoying a favourable start to implementation of the SDGs due to the government’s demonstrated ownership of the SDG agenda and a national consensus about the importance of the new global goals for the country’s development.


SDGs-MontenegroMontenegro: Adapting an established national strategy for Sustainable Development to new global and regional agendas

Montenegro’s ambitions as an ‘ecological state’ pursuing a sustainable development path stem from the 1990s and were reflected as early as 1992 in the text of the Constitution.


Turkmenistan-SDGsTurkmenistan: Localizing the SDGs and creating a monitoring system with an inclusive approach

Following the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015 where the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, demonstrated his support to the 2030 Agenda and the country’s commitment to realize the SDGs the country established a joint government–UN SDG Task Group consisting of 20 national agencies.


Latin America and the Caribbean

Brazil-national indicators related to the Sustainable Development GoalsBrazil: Engaging multiple stakeholders to implement and track the progress of the 2030 Agenda

The Government of Brazil has been a long-standing champion of sustainable development as the host of the 1992 Earth Summit and the 2012 Rio+20 Conference.


Domenican-Republic-SDGsDominican Republic: Establishing a multi-stakeholder coordination mechanism and assessing data capacity

In February 2016, the Government of the Dominican Republic issued a Presidential Decree to enact a High-Level Inter-institutional Sustainable Development Commission with the mandate to oversee and implement the 2030 Agenda.


El-Salvador-SDGs-2El Salvador: Demonstrating ownership to implement the SDGs 

On the initiative of the President of the Republic, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, El Salvador decided to give a special boost to the implementation of the new 2030 Agenda in the country.