Motion to Adopt the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

North Yorkshire Council, July 2023


  • The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) are a set of 17 goals that aim to address global challenges and foster sustainable development worldwide. These goals cover a wide range of issues, including strong economy, strong institutions, poverty eradication, gender equality, clean energy, climate action, and sustainable cities, among others.
  • The role of local government has been recognised at COP 26 in Glasgow and within the draft agreement of the commitment due to be reaffirmed by global leaders in Sept 2023. ‘We acknowledge the essential role of national, regional and local parliaments in ensuring accountability for the effective implementation of our goals and commitments under the 2030 Agenda.”
  • NYC has recognised the need to respond to pressures such as climate change, resource scarcity, and social inequalities and the concept of sustainable development is no longer confined to NGOs and activists and is now integral to ensuring that we can continue to operate on a planet with finite resources. The language of sustainable development is now commonplace within North Yorkshire strategies, but sustainability is also not the sole responsibility of a one department. Instead, it needs to be integrated into all operations and across every function of the authority.
  • Adopting the UNSDGs at local and regional level allows us to not only contribute to this global effort and create positive change within our community but it provides clear guidance, commitments and communications for residents, businesses, officers and councillors alike.


We, the North Yorkshire Council, adopt the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for guiding our local authority's strategies, policies, work programs, functions and initiatives. By doing so, we commit to aligning our strategies with the national and global agenda for sustainable development and working towards achieving these goals within our sphere of influence."

Key points

  1. Recognising the significance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a comprehensive framework for sustainable development at the global level.
  2. Acknowledging the relevance of the UNSDGs to the challenges and opportunities faced by our local community.
  3. Understanding that adopting the UNSDGs will provide a clear direction for our local authority's policies, work programs, and initiatives, ensuring their alignment with the national and global agenda for sustainable development.
  4. Emphasizing the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration and partnerships in implementing the UNSDGs effectively.
  5. Committing to regular monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of our progress towards achieving the UNSDGs, engaging our community in the process.
  6. Encouraging cooperation and knowledge-sharing with other local authorities across the UK and world that have already adopted the UNSDGs, promoting collective action and learning.

Therefore, we move that:

  • North Yorkshire Council adopt the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for guiding our local authority's policies, programs, and initiatives.
  • The relevant departments and stakeholders within our local authority work together to incorporate economic, environmental and social strategies to develop an action plan for implementing the UNSDGs, outlining specific targets, timelines, and responsibilities.
  • Regular progress reports be submitted to the council, including updates on the implementation of the UNSDGs and assessments of the local authority's performance in contributing to the global agenda for sustainable development.
  • North Yorkshire Council actively engage and collaborate with other local authorities, organisations, and community groups to share best practices, experiences, and lessons learned in advancing the UNSDGs.
  • We believe that adopting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals will not only demonstrate our commitment to sustainability but also provide a comprehensive framework for addressing local challenges, seizing opportunities and creating a better future for our community. By taking this step, we can also demonstrate our commitment to contribute to the global effort to achieve a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient world for future generations.