United for the world: Sustainable Development Goals
Written by Alexandra Muntean
War. Terror. Crisis. Fear. Not really the description you’d expect of our world today, but sadly it’s true, these words depict the situation in the world perfectly: states in conflict with each other, attacks on humanity, hunger and health crisis, refugees on the run — a world dominated by fear, instead of confidence and hope, freedom and peace. You might ask yourself: What did we do to deserve this? Didn’t the world learn from previous mistakes? Weren’t two world wars enough to realize that violence in not always the first step or the right solution?
Well, I guess not. But who is to blame? The world leaders, the terror organizations, the political institutions or even ourselves ? However you may put it, there never is a single guilty party, which is to blame for everything. I don’t even think one single party should be hold responsible for world problems or the situations today. Time shouldn’t be wasted on looking for the guilty one. We are all guilty, for waiting for others to solve the problems or expecting for someone to do all the decisions, while we stand and watch, comment or criticize. Standing in front of the TV, depicting the ideal passive citizen, silent and ignorant, living in his own safety bubble, far away from conflicts or revolutions, skipping the news channel out of boredom. Sadly, the majority of the world fits into this category instead of that of an active citizen, who cares about something and acts on it. No, I am not speaking of a perfect citizen model, who has all the right answers to all the questions, who doesn’t think of anything other than participation, but of a citizen who cares for his rights and those of others like him, who stands for what he believes in and one, that goes after something he desires. A motivated, determined, informed individual, willing to fight for change and achieve his goals. We all act in our own interest, guided by the goals we want to achieve, calculating the costs and the benefits of our actions and maybe sometimes come to the conclusion that in some situations there is more to lose than it is to win, but I believe that in the face of the situation in the world today, one shouldn’t stay silent and watch from the background, but step in and try to make a change, no matter how small. To try to explain why our participation is important for accomplishing the goal of world peace and wellbeing, I will go back to the first group of people who wanted to make a change in order to reach these goals : The United Nations. In 1945 nations were in ruins, World War II was over and the world wanted peace. So 51 nations came together to find a solution to get out of the situation the war caused. They gathered to create a set of rules for a new world in peace: A Charta of rights, obligations and tasks that have to be respected to maintain world peace and to make the idea of it realistic. This document is based on the cooperation of nations that have something in common: the same goals. Goals to make the world a peaceful and safe place.
On the 24th of October, the United Nations officially came into existence and started following their goals. Their mission was and is to maintain peace and security in the world, but they need our help too. They made the first step in the fight against terror and war, now we must join them and make their goals our own. On September 25th 2015 this organization has adopted a new of goals: 17 goals to transform the world, the SDG: sustainable development goals. Goals to end poverty, protect the planet, avoid conflicts and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. To get to the important point >>drumroll<< I present to you the SDGs:
Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms, everywhere. #nopoverty
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture #zerohunger
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages #health #wellbeing
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning #qualityeducation
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls #genderequality
Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all #cleanwater
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all #affordableenergy
Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all #economicgrowth #decentwork
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation #industry #innovation #infrastructure
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries #reduceinequalities
Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable #sustainablecities #sustainablecommunities
Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns #responsibleconsumption #responsibleproduction
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts #climateaction
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources #lifebelowwater
Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss #lifeonland
Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies #peace #justice #stronginstitutions
Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development #partnershipforthegoals
These goals, if achieved, might be the solution to the world problems, but it is impossible for the UN to achieve them on their own. So they are asking for your help. I am asking for your help and engagement. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you. Every human of earth, even the most indifferent or lazy of us, is part of the solution. These goals are a guide to save the world. Take action and try to impact the society you live in. Choose your goal, the one that is closest to your heart and do something to make it happen. Change happens step by step and hand in hand. Teach the SDGs. Learn the SDGs. Act on the SDGs. Only united we can save our world.