Building a sustainable future: Canada’s progress in advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

by ahnationtalk on June 7, 202347 Views

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

June 7, 2023

As the world faces an array of complex challenges, the importance of the 2030 Agenda has never been more apparent. At the heart of this agenda are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at addressing the world’s most pressing challenges by 2030, including poverty, inequality and climate change. Recognizing the transformative power of these goals, the Government of Canada continues to demonstrate leadership in advancing progress on the SDGs.

Today, while attending the Together|Ensemble 2023 Conference from Carleton University, Canada’s Federal Government lead on Sustainable Development Goals, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, shared a preview of Canada’s progress on the SDGs, which will be released next month when Canada delivers its second Voluntary National Review (VNR).

In her keynote address, Minister Gould highlighted key progress in advancing the SDGs. Notably, Canada has made significant progress on reducing poverty (SDG 1). Canada has exceeded its interim target of a 20% reduction in poverty. Canada’s poverty rate was 7.4% in 2021, nearly half the 2015 rate (14.5%). While recent data reflect the emergence of new challenges, including high inflation, Canada remains well-positioned to achieve a 50% decrease in poverty by 2030, based on 2015 levels. Canada is also making strides on Quality Education (SDG 4) in part through the Government of Canada’s historic five-year, $30 billion investment to build a Canada-wide, affordable, high quality and inclusive early learning and child care system.

During the conference, the Minister thanked those who participated in the public consultation to help inform Canada’s VNR. Acknowledging that achieving the Goals is a shared responsibility that requires whole-of-society participation, the VNR will reflect collaborative efforts to advance the SDGs, including contributions and notable projects from federal, provincial and territorial governments, municipalities, National Indigenous Organizations, not-for-profit organizations, academia, the private sector and other civil society actors.

Together|Ensemble is Canada’s national conference devoted to tracking progress on the SDGs. Hosted by the University of Waterloo and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the three‑day national conference is funded through the SDG Funding Program. It aims to deepen partnerships, advance a national dialogue and monitor progress towards the SDGs in Canada and abroad. Participants include key Canadian stakeholders and partners, youth advocates and SDG practitioners from across the country.

The Government of Canada continues to demonstrate leadership, transparency and accountability on this important global agenda. The 17 SDGs have always been an integral part of Government of Canada programs and policies, and every Canadian has a role to play. As we mark the halfway point of the 2030 Agenda, Canada remains committed to the work that began in 2015, to build stronger, safer, more inclusive communities that leave no one behind.


“Canada’s upcoming Voluntary National review presents an exciting opportunity to join countries around the world and share the story of our milestones and progress in achieving the 2030 Agenda. Events like the Together|Ensemble conference truly demonstrate the importance of partnership and collaboration at all levels of government, the private sector, academia and civil society. We have an opportunity to shape the future through the Sustainable Development Goals as we strive to build a better world together.”

– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould

Quick facts

  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a 15-year global framework adopted by Canada and all other 192 United Nations Member States in 2015. The 2030 agenda consists of 17 goals and 169 targets to address today’s most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges.
  • Canada will present its second Voluntary National Review (VNR) in mid July 2023 at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
  • A Voluntary National Review (VNR) is a report that a country submits to the United Nations to show its progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The purpose of a VNR is for a country to explain what it has done to achieve these goals, share its successes and challenges, and engage in a discussion with others about how to continue improving.
  • Canada’s VNR will demonstrate progress made towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since the first VNR presentation in 2018, with a specific focus on five national priorities: No Poverty (SDG 1), Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Climate Action (SDG 13), and Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17).
  • The Sustainable Development Goals Funding Program is in place to advance progress on the 2030 Agenda. Through this program, Canada is investing up to $59.8 million over 13 years. To date, Canada’s SDG Funding Program has supported over 130 projects funded for approximately $22 million.

Associated links


For media enquiries, please contact:

Philippe-Alexandre Langlois
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada


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