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UN Documentation: Development

Introduction to 2016-2030

UN Photo 765481: Secretary-General Guterres with staff celebrating the adoption of the General Assembly resolution on the repositioning of the United Nations Development System

The concept of development continues to evolve, as expressed in the declaration Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (A/RES/70/1, para. 13):

"Sustainable development recognizes that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, combatting inequality within and among countries, preserving the planet, creating sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and fostering social inclusion are linked to each other and are interdependent."

This guide will be updated as new events occur.

Key events, documents and resolutions, 2016-2030


  • 2016-2025: United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition: A/RES/70/259
  • 2016-2025: Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa: A/RES/70/293
  • 2018-2027: Third United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty: A/RES/72/233
  • 2018-2028: International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”: A/RES/71/222
  • 2019-2028: United Nations Decade of Family Farming: A/RES/72/239
  • 2021-2030: United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development: A/RES/72/73
  • 2021-2030: United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: A/RES/73/284
  • 2021-2030: Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism: A/RES/75/123

  • 2021-2030: United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing: A/RES/75/131

  • 2022-2032: International Decade of the World's Indigenous People: A/RES/74/135


  • International Year of Pulses: A/RES/68/231
  • 30th Special Session of the General Assembly
    • New York, 19-21 Apr. 2016
    • Topic: World Drug Problem
    • Outcome: A/RES/S-30/1
  • UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development
    • Known as Habitat III
    • Quito, 17-20 Oct. 2016
    • Report: A/CONF.226/12



  • A/RES/72/279: Repositioning of the United Nations development system in the context of the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system


  • International Year of Indigenous Languages: A/RES/71/178 
  • International Year of Moderation: A/RES/72/129
  • Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation
    • Buenos Aires, 20-22 March 2019
    • Outcome document: A/CONF.235/3



  • International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, A/RES/73/327
  • International Year of Peace and Trust, A/RES/73/338
  • International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, A/RES/74/198
  • International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, A/RES/74/244
  • UN Secretary-General's Food Systems Summit, 23 Sept. 2021, Chair's Summary: SG/SM/2258


  • International Year of Glass: A/RES/75/279
  • International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development: A/RES/76/14
  • International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development: A/RES/76/129


  •  International Year of Millets: A/RES/75/263
  • International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace: A/RES/77/32


  • 2024: International Year of Camelids: A/RES/72/210
  • 2025: International Year of Glaciers' Preservation: A/RES/77/158
  • 2026: International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists: A/RES/76/253


Background on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The outcome document of the 2010 High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the MDGs requested the Secretary-General to initiate thinking on a post-2015 development agenda and include recommendations in his annual report on efforts to accelerate MDG progress. 

Countries agreed in 2012 at Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, to establish an open working group to develop a set of sustainable development goals.

The Open Working Group was established on 22nd of January 2013 by decision 67/555 (see A/67/L.48/rev.1) of the General Assembly. 

The United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda was held from 25 to 27 September 2015, in New York and convened as a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly.

UN and Development