The SDGs must be viewed as something that transcends political differences and alliances. They should be understood as a set of targets which hold global, communal value. We must understand that while all nations have separate cultures and customs, unique histories, and separate circumstances, achieving sustainable development is a universally-necessary goal if we are to create a better world for all.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit in September 2015, held in New York City, is of paramount global importance. The Summit will affect current and future generations, and should therefore be widely discussed and intimately understood.
We will see an incredibly large gathering of world leaders, renowned thinkers, and popular personalities in New York City. They will congregate to unveil, promote, and agree upon an agenda which will play a pivotal role to the success of future generations to come. By adopting and subscribing to the post-2015 agenda, the world will set a course of action that will define the next 15 years.
The SDGs aim at improving the world in profound ways. The aims of these goals are realistic, and the methods to achieve these targets practical. While some goals aim to reduce extreme poverty, others endeavour to promote inclusive societies, or environmental sustainability. They all have one common target: to provide future generations the foundations of a truly equal, sustainable world.
While we can acknowledge the importance these goals, we must not forget the degree of significance this Summit has on current generations, and therefore, the international community. In September, the world will witness the importance of international relations, and the way in which countries can come together in order to find real pragmatic solutions to the world’s problems.
Many political commentators around the world have argued over the best way forward. There have been calls for the establishment of international legal agreements, which would force nations to incorporate them into national law. Once international commitments are enshrined in domestic law, political leaders are unable to backtrack, thus committing to a strong agenda.
Despite significant progress on all the MDGs, including the achievement of cutting in half the number of people living in extreme poverty, it must be stressed that vast inequality still remains. In fact, 80 percent of the people living on less than $1.25 a day are located in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and 60 percent in just five countries: India, Nigeria, China, Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These statistics highlight the most challenging areas for the SDGs to be met.
We must reflect on commonalities, and acknowledge that the goal of creating a sustainable future is a goal we all share.
John Farrugia is the Project Lead for Networks at SDSN Youth. All opinions expressed on the blog are the opinions of the author and not that of SDSN Youth.