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Sustainable Development Goal indicator 4.7.1 aims to mainstream global citizenship education.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

In September 2015, United Nations Member States gathered in New York to launch the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 global goals are a call to action to achieve a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future by 2030. The SDGs aim to eradicate poverty, end discrimination and protect the earth by improving economic, social and environmental outcomes for all.

How are the SDGs measured?

Each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is defined through 169 targets and 232 indicators. Countries around the world have agreed to work together to achieve these targets.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are a call to action to achieve a more peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable future by 2030.

© irinanaz, 123RF

Each year, individual countries submit a report card to the United Nations to document their progress towards achieving the SDG, targets and indicators. This informs an annual United Nations report, which provides a comprehensive picture of global progress towards achieving these goals. 

Global citizenship education and the SDGs

Global citizenship education was included as a global target in the 2015 SDGs. Indicator 4.7.1 aims to mainstream global citizenship education into national education policies, curriculums, assessment and teacher education programmes by 2030. This means that young people throughout the world will learn how to play an active role in responding to issues that affect humanity.

Global citizenship education is included as a global target in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

© surgay, 123RF

While initial data shows that there is still considerable work to be done to achieve indicator 4.7.1, global citizenship education is becoming more visible in education policy and curriculums throughout the world. Countries are exploring ways to teach global citizenship education. An increasing number of schools, teachers and young people are working collaboratively to understand and respond to global challenges within their local contexts. Global citizenship education presents an opportunity for students, teachers and educators to learn together as part of the global education community. In this clip, Libby Giles, Senior Strategist for Global Citizenship education at St Cuthbert's College in Auckland, talks about how St Cuthbert’s aligns their whole school global citizenship education programme to the SDGs.

Libby Giles from St Cuthbert's College in Auckland talks about aligning their global citizenship programme to the SDGs at the Growing Global Citizens in Aotearoa Teacher Forum 2021.

© Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence


Do the SDGs address all of the global challenges facing our world today?

  • What challenges or issues are not addressed in the SDGs?

  • What additional goals or targets need to be included?

Looking at the SDG data, will the SDGs be achieved by 2030? 

  • Which goals will be achieved and why?

  • Which goals will not be achieved and why?

How achievable are global (universal) goals such as the SDGs?

  • Consider the strengths and limitations of global goals.

How are the SDGs being enacted in your school, kura or early learning centre?

Useful links

Find out more about the SDGs, including key statistics on each global target.

Learn more about New Zealand’s progress towards achieving the SDGs.

Teach your students about the Sustainable Development Goals by using these SDG lesson plans.

Read these learning stories to see how teachers, schools and kura are implementing global citizenship education in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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