A Decade to go: Sustainable Development Goals

“Surely, we have a responsibility for future generations a planet that is healthy and habitable by all species.”

Sir. David Attenborough

What SDGs is all about

About 5 years ago, the 194 UN member states agreed on a set of universal goals – Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goals and targets were meant to guide their implementation plans and actions over the next 15 years. The advent of the SDGs was built on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in a wider area, in which 2030 was the UN set target for reaching the goals. Interestingly, we are just a decade to go – exactly 10 years from now.

Paragraph 3 of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development clearly demonstrates how the goals are interlinked. Therefore, there is need for an integrated approach of finding solutions. The declaration states:

“We resolve, between now and 2030, to end poverty and hunger everywhere; to combat inequalities within and among countries; to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; to protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. To ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources. We resolve also to create conditions for sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and decent work for all, taking into account different levels of national development and capacities.”

Why are the SDGs Important?

Achieving sustainable development cannot be overstated. It places emphasis on the 5Ps identified by the United Nations as people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. Basically, placing focus on all facets of life. Additionally, it incorporates the various goals, targets, and practices in a more coordinated way.

Furthermore, the 2030 Agenda includes the eradication of poverty, hunger and improved health and nutrition, reduction of inequality; building of peaceful, just and inclusive societies; the protection of human rights; the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources altogether.

It also aims to create conditions for sustainable, inclusive, and sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and decent work for all, taking into account different levels of national development and capacities.

Strategies to Implementation

The global goals empasises sustainable development in all of its three dimensions; social, economic and environmental. It applies to all developing and developed countries based on the principle of basic recognition and protection of human rights and equity.

Since its inception in 2015, the UN continually partners with government agencies, non governmental and cooperate organizations, firms, businesses to jointly mobilize forces to attain the goals.

Additionally, another striking UN declaration states:

“Yet in the end, sustainable development is not a fixed state of harmony, but rather a process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development, and institutional change are made consistent with future as well as present needs. We do not pretend that the process is easy or straightforward. Painful choices have to be made. Thus, in the final analysis, sustainable development must rest on political will”

We Can do and better, we can do more!

We can’t achieve the goals and attain the future we desire if we do not get fully involved by creating ownership for the goals, adopting new ways, and improving our engagements with the goals. As an individual, in your profession, and even in business, it is important to know your SDGs. But if you already know, create more awareness, provide knowledge, education/training and information where you can. Policy makers and government appointees can help translate SDGs into national plans as well.

Take Action!

On a more practical level, identify partners and agencies responsible for working towards the goals in your area of interest and lend your voices. Similarly, for advocates, develop strategic plans, process and action steps. Again, improvements of gender equality and youth opportunities is also a port of call. Let us try to increase participation at all levels because we are leaving no one behind.

We can choose to volunteer more and inspire many people to take action. Help change makers making efforts to curb social challenges in your community.

More so, synergies between the goals should be maximized for greater impacts and as a result, we can transform the world and attain the future we desire by 2030. Take action and let’s change the narrative today! It is our collective responsibility.

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