The Netherlands and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

An end to poverty, inequality, injustice and climate change: this is the essence of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the period 2015-2030. The Netherlands works towards these goals at home and abroad. 

17 Sustainable Development Goals

All of the UN's 193 member states adopted the SDGs in 2015. The goals are aimed at achieving a sustainable world for everyone by 2030, with no one left behind. They apply to all countries and all people. The 17 SDGs are: 

  1. End poverty in all its forms
  2. End hunger, achieve improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture 
  3. Good health and wellbeing
  4. Quality education 
  5. Gender equality 
  6. Clean water and sanitation and sustainable management of water
  7. Affordable, sustainable energy 
  8. Inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work
  9. Sustainable industrialisation, innovation and infrastructure
  10. Reduced inequality within and among countries
  11. Safe, resilient and sustainable cities and settlements
  12. Responsible consumption and production
  13. Action to combat climate change
  14. Sustainable use of the oceans and seas
  15. Sustainable use of ecosystems and forests and halt to biodiversity loss
  16. Peace, justice and strong institutions
  17. Partnerships for the goals

An overview of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Enlarge image An overview of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

SDGs not yet achieved in the Netherlands

The SDGs relate to many Dutch government policy goals. Like most countries, the Netherlands has not yet fully achieved the goals. Each year Statistics Netherlands assesses the Netherlands’ progress towards achieving the SDGs and how it compares with progress in other European countries. 

At the current rate of progress, the Netherlands will not achieve all the SDGs by 2030. It has laid a solid foundation for reaching several SDGs, however, such as the those for work, education, health and strong institutions. Nevertheless, the Netherlands is unlikely to achieve the environmental goals. The Netherlands is especially far behind on the goals for ecosystems and biodiversity (SDGs 14 and 15). 

It is also trailing other European countries on tackling climate change (SDG 13), although it is starting to do better. Gender inequality (SDG 5) is also gradually declining, although women are less likely to occupy management positions or seats in parliament in the Netherlands than in other European countries. 

Working to achieve the goals in the Netherlands

To move towards achieving the SDGs in the Netherlands, Sandra Pellegrom has been appointed National Coordinator for the Sustainable Development Goals (in Dutch). She works to help government give the SDGs a more solid position in policy, so that government policy will help achieve the SDGs in the Netherlands. She also encourages society to work towards the goals. The coalition SDG Netherlands helps individuals, businesses and organisations contribute to achieving the SDGs (in Dutch)

Central government report on progress towards the SDGs

Each year, central government publishes a report on what the Netherlands still needs to do if it is to achieve the SDGs by 2030 (in Dutch). The report is drafted in consultation with municipalities, provinces, business, educational and research institutions and civil society organisations. Young people and the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights also each contribute a chapter with recommendations. Every five years, the Netherlands joins Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten in reporting to the UN (in English) on progress towards the SDGs in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Dutch efforts worldwide

The Netherlands is also working to help other countries achieve the SDGs. Dutch development cooperation policy is based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Here you can see how the Netherlands has helped to achieve the SDGs in countries around the world.