“Leaving no one behind” is a concept and commitment that emerged from the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is a central principle of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted by all UN Member States in September 2015.
The primary goal of “leaving no one behind” is to ensure that sustainable development efforts are inclusive and address the needs of all people, especially those who are most vulnerable and marginalized. It emphasizes that economic, social, and environmental progress should be equitable and that no individual or group should be excluded from the benefits of development.
The 2030 Agenda consists of 17 SDGs, which encompass a wide range of interconnected objectives, including ending poverty, promoting good health and well-being, achieving quality education, ensuring gender equality, providing clean water and sanitation, combating climate change, and fostering inclusive economic growth, among others.
Key elements of the “leaving no one behind” principle include:
- Inclusivity: Policies and programs should be designed and implemented in a way that includes all segments of society, regardless of their age, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, socioeconomic status, or geographic location.
- Equity: Efforts should be made to reduce disparities and ensure that vulnerable and marginalized populations have access to the same opportunities and services as others.
- Data and Monitoring: Regular data collection and monitoring are essential to identify disparities and assess progress in reaching all populations effectively.
- Participation: Engaging and empowering communities, including marginalized groups, in decision-making processes is crucial to ensure that their unique needs and perspectives are taken into account.
By adopting the “leaving no one behind” principle, countries commit to creating a more just and sustainable world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and enjoy a high quality of life. This approach recognizes the interconnectedness of global challenges and the importance of collective efforts to address them while ensuring that no individual or group is left behind in the pursuit of sustainable development.
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