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Sustainable Development Goals

Targets and Indicators

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has put forward a total of 29 indicators covering eight goals of the July 2014 proposal of the UN General Assembly’s Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help monitor the post-2015 development agenda.

The FAO report, together with indicators put forward by other UN agencies, entities and regional agencies, is a contribution to discussions on a post-2015 indicator framework, now moving ahead following the first meeting of a working group of the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC), the United Nations Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDG), from 1-2 June in New York.


In providing support to United Nations Member States and other stakeholders in the post-2015 development agenda, FAO had identified targets and indicators in 14 priority themes related to its expertise and experience.

These themes encompass food security, nutrition, sustainable agriculture, poverty reduction, food systems, environmental stewardship and the sustainable management of natural resources.

Targets and indicators are part of the technical support provided by FAO and other UN entities to help the international community and national governments gather information and mobilize the different types of resources needed to succeed in meeting their goals.

The targets identified cover the most important dimensions related to each theme. They are aspirational, yet realistic, and use widely accepted and rigorously defined concepts. For their part, the indicators have been identified primarily in terms of their relevance to the respective targets and their methodological soundness, which allows the indicator to be measured globally as well as to be disaggregated across regions and countries. Data for measurement are already available (or in a few cases, are expected to become available) for most countries.

RBA Targets and Indicators

Separately, FAO, IFAD and WFP - the Rome-based agencies (RBAs), had also identified targets and indicators for food security, nutrition and sustainable development, areas common to the collective expertise of the three UN agencies.

The RBAs’ contribution was inspired by a common vision of food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture as a closely interlinked  set of issues requiring comprehensive, holistic approaches with strong linkages to many other parts of a sustainable development agenda.