heritage and culturenewssustainable development

Statement by ICOMOS on the Adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Statement by ICOMOS on the Adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted during the UN summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda in New York on 25 September 2015.

Goal 11 is one of 17 new SDGs and focuses on cities and the role of heritage in making them sustainable. 

On 25 September, the countries of the world took a bold step towards charting a just, transparent and equitable future for our planet. Amidst much history that was made, not to be overlooked is the unprecedented, explicit recognition given to the fundamental role that heritage and culture play in human development.  ICOMOS applauds this important action and pledges the full support of the cultural heritage community to realizing the potential of this landmark international agenda for guiding global action from 2015 to 2030.


Unlike their predecessors, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were silent on cultural heritage, the SDGs speak boldly. Of the 7 targets making up the groundbreaking new Urban Goal, Target 11.4 calls for “making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.” In another break from the MDGs, the SDGs apply to North and South alike.  “The global South, as much as the global North, is rich in heritage, both tangible and intangible, making the Heritage Target a key bridge for realizing the SDG’s aspiration of universal application, particularly in the urban areas” said Dr. Jyoti Hosagrahar of ICOMOS India.

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