human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

Engaging in the 2030 Agenda

through the Lens of Laudato Si’

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The 2030 Agenda

Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development officially came into force on 1 January 2016. In many ways, this Agenda represents the global consensus for development until 2030.

The 2030 Agenda includes some transformational shifts in how development is understood by the international community: a universal programme applicable to all countries; integrating environmental protection and poverty eradication; promoting widespread participation of all groups; and tackling inequality and promoting inclusion with a focus on ‘Leave No-one Behind’.

The Agenda consists of five parts:

  1. Preamble
  2. Declaration
  3. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets
  4. Means of implementation and the Global Partnership
  5. Follow-up and Review

The 17 SDGs and 169 corresponding targets sit at the heart of the 2030 Agenda. They cover a broad range of issues including: education, healthcare, social protection, migration, peace and justice, oceans, forests, sustainable agriculture, climate change, decent jobs and economic development.

Laudato Si’ – On care for our common home

Soon before the 2030 Agenda was agreed, Pope Francis published his encyclical, Laudato Si’ – On care for our common home. This document builds on the body of Catholic Social Teaching (the doctrine developed by the Catholic Church on matters of social justice), giving a much fuller analysis of environmental issues as part of an ‘integral ecology’ approach.

Laudato Si’ questions the current model of development, and invites everyone to engage in a dialogue to re-define progress and to promote an integral human development that can benefit all – particularly the poorest and most vulnerable people – while respecting the natural environment (LS 49). It is a clear call to self-reflection for “every person living on this planet” (LS 3), including within the Catholic Church.

The encyclical has inspired many inside and outside the Catholic Church and has become a reference document for Catholic development agencies worldwide.