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Two Minute Update on the Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations recently concluded its Sustainable Development Summit of 2015. At this summit, new [Sustainable Development Goals] (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/focussdgs.html) were approved- 17 strong! If you don't know the history and the origins of these goals in the 1990 Millennium Development goals, at first glance these 17 new long term focus areas appear to be stand alone development plans. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are a plan to eliminate poverty.

The Sustainable Development Goals are, however, an interlinked global policy agenda that will drive financing and priority setting at global and national levels. We like the way the [Campaign Group Beyond 2015](http://www.beyond2015.org/sites/default/files/Beyond%202015%20press%20release_5%20August%202015_final.pdf) summed them up:

The Campaign strongly welcomes the new approach that the 17 universal, indivisible and interlinked Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) take to ending poverty and “leaving no-one behind”. The new goals are inclusive and comprehensive and will require the “participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people”.

Of the 17 goals listed, there are several that resonate strongly with our work at Maternova, particularly the gender-related goals. Good health, clean water and sustainable energy are like a given in the geometry of existence. But what about other equally as critical rights each human being should have as a basic measure of a fair chance at life? Equality, education, humane treatment are still atop this list. The Guardian has put together an [excellent interactive summary of the SDGs](http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jan/19/sustainable-development-goals-united-nations).

The goals have been re-categorized since 1990 but the themes are the same. Since 1990 there have been great strides in the area of gender equality. More girls are in school and there is more representation in government, but there is without full access to education and healthcare the goals within “good health and well-being goal” will not be achieved.

In 1990, the two health goals were Reduce Child Mortality and Improve Maternal Health. In 2015 there is one all-encompassing goal:

Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages

The sub-goals for this, SDG THREE, are as follows:

3.1
by 2030 reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births

3.2
by 2030 end preventable deaths of newborns and under-five children

3.3
by 2030 end the epidemics of Aids, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases

3.4
by 2030 reduce by one-third pre-mature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and wellbeing

3.5
strengthen prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol

3.6
by 2020 halve global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents

3.7
by 2030 ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes

3.8
achieve universal health coverage (UHC), including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health care services, and access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all

3.9
by 2030 substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination

3.10
strengthen implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries as appropriate

3.11
support research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the TRIPS agreement regarding flexibilities to protect public health and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all

3.12
increase substantially health financing and the recruitment, development and training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in LDCs and SIDS

3.13
strengthen the capacity of all countries, particularly developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction, and management of national and global health risks

The UN reports that in 25 years maternal mortality has fallen almost 50 percent. But, developing regions still have 14 times higher maternal mortality ratio than industrialized regions. Continued improvement in the percentage of births attended by skilled health personnel, the number of women who received antenatal visits and contraceptive prevalence will continue to positively impact the maternal mortality rate. Educating and providing access to basic reproductive health care is paramount to achieving these goals. Goal 3, and particularly 3.1,3.2 and 3.3 are where Maternova will be focusing all of our attention.

In many countries, the real work now begins-- integrating the [Sustainable Development Goals into the national development plans](http://www.silofighters.org/hitting-the-ground-running-the-sdgs-in-uganda/).


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