EDITORIAL

The Science of Sustainability

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Science  28 Jun 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6140, pp. 1499
DOI: 10.1126/science.1242219

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Summary

The question of what can be achieved in 1000 days has preoccupied kings, queens, presidents, and, very recently, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN). Ban Ki-moon has not only appealed for a last big push to reach as many as possible of the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the deadline of 31 December 2015, he is advocating the establishment of objectives that should succeed the MDGs as well. Strong clues about the shape of the post-2015 agenda can be found in two recent reports, one published last month by a High-Level Panel* convened by Ban Ki-moon and chaired by the presidents of Indonesia and Liberia and the prime minister of the United Kingdom, and the other released this month by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.† Both reports list the eradication of poverty as the number-one priority and set out complementary goals concerned with gender equality, education, health, food, water and sanitation, climate change, energy, employment, natural resources, governance, peace, and finance. These reports are unlikely to be the last contributions to the debate, but the proposed goals represent a call to action for the science community.