It’s significant because it means we have learned a key lesson from the Millennium Development Goals. While they were successful in many ways, it turned out that most countries measured progress in averages – which means that we were leaving out core segments of society. For example, while the world made important progress in reducing poverty overall, often the poorest and most disadvantaged populations, such as adolescent girls in rural communities who face gender discrimination and geographic barriers, did not share in that progress.
This time around, governments have pledged to leave no one behind, which means working toward shared progress – so that progress does not only benefit those near the top of society, but also those who are so often on the margins. It’s taking a bottom up approach to development, which has not been the norm.