The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) was agreed by 193 Member States at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York in September 2015. Australia was represented at the Summit by the Hon Julie Bishop MP, former Minister for Foreign Affairs. Australia actively participated in international discussions to design the 2030 Agenda and supported the involvement of all development actors, including civil society organisations, the private sector, philanthropic organisations and academia.
What is the 2030 Agenda?
The 2030 Agenda is a comprehensive, progressive and innovative agenda that responds to the many challenges faced by the world today and into the future. It aims to integrate the social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainable development.
The 2030 Agenda is made up of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a roadmap for sustainable development efforts to 2030 and beyond and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development – a global plan for financing the Sustainable Development Goals.
Visit the UN's Sustainable Development website for more information.
Australia and the 2030 Agenda
The 2030 Agenda is both a domestic and international agenda. It is well aligned with Australia's interests - especially in promoting regional stability, security and economic prosperity.
Australian Government coordination on implementation of the 2030 Agenda is led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C).
The role of the department
Many of the SDGs are directly environmental in focus in that they aim to improve environmental conditions and the sustainability of natural resources. Individual goals focus on improving conditions and addressing challenges relating to health; food and agriculture; water and sanitation; human settlements; energy; climate change; sustainable consumption and production; biodiversity and ecosystems (both marine and terrestrial).
The department is an active participant in the whole-of-government approach to the 2030 Agenda.
The department has direct responsibility for a number of the Goals and their targets. These Goals are:
- Goal 2 – Zero Hunger
- Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation
- Goal 12 – Responsible Production and Consumption
- Goal 14 – Life below Water
- Goal 15 – Life on Land
The Department also contributes to Goal 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 13 – Climate Action and Goal 17 – Partnerships for the Goals. There are many interlinkages between the 17 Goals. Our efforts to give effect to the environment and agriculture-related Goals will also contribute to the delivery of elements of the other economic and social Goals.
Australia's first Voluntary National Review
Australia’s first Voluntary National Review on the 2030 Agenda was presented to the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July 2018. Heads of State and Government and senior Ministers from all UN member states use the High Level Political Forum, held in New York in July each year, to coordinate and review worldwide efforts in support of the 2030 Agenda. This forum is also a platform for countries to deliver Voluntary National Reviews of their progress towards the 2030 Agenda.
The Voluntary National Review highlights Australia's achievements, priorities and challenges – both domestically and internationally – in advancing the 2030 Agenda. It is a 'whole of Australia' report. It is not just about government initiatives and activity: it is about the efforts of the business sector, civil society, academia, communities and individuals. Australians are contributing to the Goals through their work in the care economy, by volunteering, by preserving the natural environment and through their everyday activities. The Review draws on the activities, engagement and leadership of key civil society, academic and business organisations and their members.
- Read Australia's Voluntary National Review 2018 which summarises our progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals
UN Food Systems Summit
In 2021 the UN Secretary-General convened a Food Systems Summit as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The premise of the Summit was that sustainable food systems don’t just help to end hunger and that system-wide action can help the world achieve critical progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Australia participated in the Summit through a series of National Dialogues, by participation in the Pre-Summit and Summit meetings, and has signed on to ongoing action on three Coalitions of Action.
Australia’s National Reporting Platform on the Sustainable Development Goals
In July 2018, the Australian Government launched its official National Reporting Platform for the Sustainable Development Goals. The Platform contains Australian Government data on the Indicators that support the Goals and will be used to track our progress over time.
- Explore Australia’s National Reporting Platform on the SDGs
The former Department of the Environment and Energy co-hosted a stakeholder event with the Australian Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature on the environment and energy Goals in Sydney on Monday 18 September 2017 – ‘Sustainable Development Goals Forum: The environment and energy Goals in focus’.
This stakeholder event was attended by leaders from government, business, industry, civil society, Indigenous groups, academia and non-government organisations. The objective of the Forum was to provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss the environment and energy Goals in detail and enable all participants to develop a more comprehensive understanding of work underway across all sectors that gives effect to the Goals. The report from the Forum is now available.
In 2018, a national platform for the Sustainable Development Goals was launched. This is the main platform that stakeholders can use to promote their work on the Sustainable Development Goals and upload their case studies.