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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted in September 2015, setting down 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) covering social, economic and environmental targets for both developed and developing countries. These goals reflect issues that Australia values and seeks to protect, like a healthy environment, access to opportunity and services, human rights, inclusive economies, diverse and supportive communities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and heritage.

PM&C and DFAT co-chaired the Deputy Secretary led Interdepartmental Committee, which played an important role in producing the Voluntary National Review (VNR) of Australia’s progress towards the 2030 Agenda. The VNR was successfully presented at the UN High Level Political Forum in July. Domestically, many government initiatives work towards the 2030 Agenda. The VNR provided a good opportunity to showcase the work we are doing to give effect to the 2030 Agenda.

PM&C has direct responsibility for the Australian Government’s response to the goals related to gender equality and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues.

The Office for Women is acting on the Australian Government’s commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal agenda by embedding Goal 5: Gender, in both existing and emerging plans, policies, strategies and activities aimed at advancing women’s empowerment and gender equality and the operational business of the Office. Goal 5 is implemented in a range of pragmatic ways, both internal and external to government, including through the Women’s Leadership Development Programme (WLDP) which targets key areas under Goal 5 such as leadership and safety and through directly funding the National Women’s Alliance Network to undertake targeted SDG activities for their members.

The Indigenous Affairs Group has also participated in discussions on the SDGs at UN forums on Indigenous issues, and supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation at the High Level Political Forum in July.

Over the past year, PM&C conducted an extensive national consultation process with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations to inform the new Closing the Gap framework. Many of the issues raised during these consultations aligned with the themes and principles of the SDGs, including health, education, culture, economic empowerment and justice.