Lockdown has been extremely tough for people, businesses, and economies globally, but I’m really proud to have utilized the lockdown period to the most. I am so excited to have finally launched #sustainably with the start of Global Goals Week on 18th September 2020 advocating United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13-climate action.
But now before I begin talking more about #sustainably, I need to throw some light on the United Nations and the Global Goals.
The United Nation
We all are familiar with the organization created “to promote international cooperation and to achieve peace and security.” in the world. Yes, the United Nation it is! With the birth of the United Nations, the world witnessed a more systematic way of dealing with problems that pertain to every nation alike. Due to global inequalities and stifling economies, some countries faced the brunt of injustice on a larger scale as compared to other countries.
Why did we need the United Nations to create a level-playing field for all countries?
World War II lasted from 1939 to 1945, shook the world, crippled economies, caused 85 million deaths, trauma, health casualties, and extreme over usage of natural resources. The large-scale destruction immediately called for an organization that would keep a check on the countries and their actions globally.
As an international peacekeeping organization and a forum for resolving conflicts between nations, The United Nations birthed on 24th October 1945. Today 193 countries stand together on a platform where each and every country has equal representation and the opportunity to voice their opinion in the UN General Assembly.
Since we are always surrounded by hard issues like wars and nuclear powers, we often overlook the damage we have caused to the environment over the years. One of the major aims of this organization was also to ensure minimal damage to the earth and its resources.
The leaders at the United Nations realized that several serious challenges are faced by the world which requires each and every person and nation to come together to overcome the burden of those challenges. Such challenges cannot be fought alone and therefore, SDGs which call for world-wide cooperation were introduced to fight these obstacles together. To understand SDGs, let us first throw some light on MDGs and their success.
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
MDGs were introduced in 2000 which aimed to cover various aspects like- poverty, education, healthcare, controlling diseases among others. And for 15 years, MDGs achieved these important tasks. As per the UN data:
- More than 1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty (since 1990)
- Child mortality dropped by more than half (since 1990)
- The number of out of school children has dropped by more than half (since 1990)
- HIV/AIDS infections fell by almost 40 percent (since 2000)
Fascinating much? You must be wondering that if MDGs existed in the first place, then why were Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) introduced in 2015? SDGs are “an urgent call to shift the world onto a more sustainable path.”
The SDGs are meant to carry forward the legacy and the successful work of the MDGs but with added goals and in such a way, that it’ll help us attain a sustainable future in the end.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
To take over environmental, political, and economic challenges, the United Nations Conference held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 was focused on tackling these challenges by introducing 17 goals that would keep a check on these three parameters. The United Nations defines the Sustainable Development Goals as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Accepted in September 2015 by 193 member states of the United Nation, this ultimate agenda, titled “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals is a call for living #sustainably so that the environment is conducive to live for future generations.
The target year to achieve all the goals has been set as 2030, This 15-year plan consists of a wide array of goals including poverty, health, climate change, education, gender equality, and several other commitments.
“It is a roadmap to ending global poverty, building a life of dignity for all and leaving no one behind. It is also a clarion call to work in partnership and intensify efforts to share prosperity, empower people’s livelihoods, ensure peace and heal our planet for the benefit of this and future generations,” stated UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
Just out of my curiosity, let me tell you why ‘Sustainable’?
The goals are termed as ‘Sustainable’ because, over the years, constant developments and advancements have changed the face of the earth. As nations progress, increased human activities have a direct impact on the current depleting state of the earth. The aim of these goals is to create a sustainable tomorrow and shifting to a path of prosperity and humanity.
Information load? Yes. But did you learn something new? I hope you did because I am done with this article. I’ll see you in the next article, where I’ll be talking about my favorite Sustainable Development Goal 13, on which #sustainably is based. Don’t miss it.
This is Aakash Ranison, Signing Off,
Stay Curious! Keep learning!