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December 22/29, 2015

The Sustainable Development Goals: One-Health in the World’s Development Agenda

Author Affiliations
  • 1O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2015;314(24):2621-2622. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.16281

“We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want to heal and secure our planet.”1 So pronounces the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, adopted on September 25, 2015, succeeding the Millennium Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals embody a one-health strategy—healthy people living on a habitable planet.

The Millennium Development Goals, adopted in 2001 and finalized only in 2008, contained 8 goals, 21 targets, and 60 indicators. Focusing on social development, such as poverty, hunger, education, and women’s empowerment, the Millennium Development Goals had 3 health-specific goals: improving child health; enhancing maternal health; and combatting AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. These goals captured much of the world’s attention—global health assistance tripled from $12 billion in 2001 to $36 billion in 2013.2