What’s new on the 2030 Agenda

The 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer a comprehensive vision for sustainable development that:

  • is global, rather than limited to so-called developing countries as was the case with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
  • is based on values such as equity and respect for human rights;
  • relies on approaches such as sustainable financing, scientific research and innovation, and monitoring and evaluation;
  • requires a new way of working, involving intersectoral action by multiple stakeholders; and
  • aims to strengthen health systems towards universal health coverage (UHC).

These new characteristics can be leveraged to benefit health. For example:

  • intersectoral action by multiple stakeholders helps place health in all sectors of policy-making, and combines the strengths of different stakeholders;
  • strengthening health systems to achieve UHC means that a comprehensive health system provides complete coverage with fully staffed and well-managed health services, thus protecting users from financial risk;
  • respect for equity and human rights is an enabling factor leading to better health for all, to “leaving no one behind” and to the empowerment of women;
  • sustainable financing means attracting new sources of funding, as well as emphasizing domestic financing, and aligning financial flows to avoid duplication of health system functions;
  • scientific research and innovation can include a balance of research on medical, social and environmental determinants and solutions; and
  • monitoring and evaluation can use new technologies to manage large volumes of data, disaggregated to reach different groups, to track progress towards Goal 3 and all other health-related goals.