These goals deal with the most pressing challenges faced by the countries; so they are wide and numerous. They aim in particular at eradicating poverty and malnutrition in the world, and improving the living conditions of the poorest. They include universal issues such as access todecent employment for all, safeguarding of the ecosystems and the environment, gradual changeour consumption and production patterns to make them more sustainable, etc.
SDGs follow the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted in 2000 and more specifically focused on human development challenges in poor countries.
All countries, including the richest, are concerned by SDGs which areextended to all dimensions of sustainable development : they are more ambitious than their predecessors whose contribution to development should however not be underestimated. For example, since 2000, poverty and malnutrition in the world decreased by half and primary education largely progressed. But a number of vulnerable countries remained below the objectives. SDGs, designed by taking into account the interdependence of countries and issues, have to take over the MDGs through enhanced international cooperation to respond more effectively to the challenges that all countries face.
Agreeing on results to be achieved with a deadline, UN countries draw together their development path and prepare already the outlines of national and global public policies that should allow them to reach their goals. SDGs give tangible form of a revolution in the approach to deal with the multiple global challenges whereas multilateralism has often been a failure when it had to address these major challenges; before the COP21, the example of the climatic challenges is there to remind is of that.
Discussed for more than two years by the international development community composed by diplomats, experts, researchers, representatives of NGOs from all countries etc., these objectives remain disregarded outside the specialized community.
There is a wide gap between the mobilization of the international community and the real interest of the population from the North and the South for the current process. However, international news, in economics, political or climatic, and the prospect of COP21 contribute to raise the citizens' interest to these challenges and to raise awareness about the importance of handling them.