Backgrounder: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development


2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) presents Canada and the world with a historic opportunity to positively shape how societies of tomorrow grow and develop to the shared benefit of all. That is why Canada, and all other 192 member countries, adopted the 2030 Agenda at the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.

The 2030 Agenda provides a common language and comprehensive framework for sustainable development. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that encompass the social, economic, and environmental challenges of today. These goals recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to protect and preserve the environment. Achieving this vision requires a concerted, consistent, and whole-of-society effort.

Canada is committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals at home and abroad. At the federal level, the government is pursuing domestic and international policies that align well with the 2030 Agenda: eliminating poverty, building economic growth, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, advancing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, and taking action on climate change, clean energy, and oceans.

Furthermore, Budget 2018 committed new funding over 13 years to:

  • Establish a Sustainable Development Goals Unit (SDG Unit) within Employment and Social Development Canada to act as a focal point for the Government of Canada;
  • Fund monitoring & reporting by Statistics Canada;
  • Administer an SDG funding program to support implementation of the SDGs

To accelerate progress towards Canada’s commitment, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Children, Families and Social Development, to lead Canada’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda, in close collaboration with all other ministers and their departments.

All federal ministers, departments and agencies are accountable for implementing the 2030 Agenda and supporting the development of the national strategy. Departments will examine how their policies and programs contribute to the 2030 Agenda’s goals and targets, with a view of identifying gaps and areas where action is needed.

A group of six ministers will help Minister Duclos steward these efforts. They are:

  • the Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality;
  • the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs;
  • the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development;
  • the Minister of Indigenous Services;
  • the Minister of Environment and Climate Change; and
  • the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Employment and Social Development Canada will coordinate, track, report, and communicate Canada’s progress towards the SDGs. This also includes responsibility to:

  • build public awareness of the 2030 Agenda and fostering new partnerships and networks to advance the SDGs;
  • develop a whole-of-society National Strategy through engagement with provinces and territories, municipalities, Indigenous peoples and other stakeholders;
  • administer a funding program for innovative and horizontal initiatives that support the achievement of the SDGs

Goals, targets, and indicators are the backbone of monitoring progress towards the SDGs. To support domestic monitoring and reporting, Statistics Canada has launched the Sustainable Development Goals Data Hub, a one-stop online resource for information and statistics that allow Canadians to monitor progress on the 2030 goals and targets. Data will play a vital role in monitoring and reporting on Canada’s progress towards the SDGs.

Across Canada, governments, organizations and individuals are already answering the 2030 Agenda’s call to action and convening new partnerships to respond in new ways to the challenges we collectively face. Going forward, the Government of Canada intends to strengthen efforts to bring together all segments of society in Canada around the SDGs, including through the development of a whole-of-society National Strategy.

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