As we step into the 21st century, world leaders realize that to create an ideal society, prosperity and economic growth is not enough. With the world developing at an increasing pace, countries believe that inclusive and sustainable growth is necessary for the benefit of both humans and the planet. In 2015, the world came together with an ambitious vision of a safer, healthier and more prosperous world for all, that was when the 2030 Agenda was established. At its core, the 2030 Agenda is aimed towards the 5Ps - People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. As such, countries come up with 17 Sustainable Development Goals that caters to the 5Ps. The 17 SDGs provide a clear set of guidelines that we can work towards in order to achieve a better future for the planet, the people, while attaining prosperity, peace and partnership.
Despite huge improvements that were made ever since the establishment of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), 700 million people still live in extreme poverty today. Although there are improvements in regards to our combat against hunger and poverty, progress is uneven. With poverty becoming increasingly concentrated in a number of African countries, global progress has been slowing down, thus disparity is promised to widen. Given that 10% of the world's total population are still living in poverty, the world is committed to eradicate hunger and alleviate poverty in all forms and dimensions. Only by achieving goals 1 (No poverty), 2 (Zero hunger), 3 (Good health and Well-being), 4 (Quality education) and 5 (Gender Equality) can humans fulfill their potential in dignity and equality in a safe and healthy environment. Since these goals are the first steps that we need to take in order to achieve the ambitious vision we have of 2030
One of the biggest goals of the SDGs is to protect the planet so it can support the needs of present and future generations. As days go by, we get to see how climate change affects global development. With the rate of emissions increasing every year due to humans’ activities, there is a risk of global warming to reach 1.5 degrees celsius between 2030 and 2052. At this rate of emissions, the lives of many are at risk of being heavily affected, if climate change is not dealt with, millions if not billions will suffer from sea level rising and might become climate change refugees as the sea water swallows coastlines. Not only does the landmass that humans can inhabit would shrink but there is a risk of a reduction in clean and drinkable water for many. Given the significance of this issue, it is high time for us to take action. In order to ensure the safety of the planet as well as the capacity to support human of the current and future generation, goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) as well as Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), Goal 13 (Climate Action), Goal 14 (Life Below Water) and Goal 15 (Life On Land) is dedicated to the well-being of the planet as well as other species that inhabit planet.
With the aim to “ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social, and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature”, the SDGs promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth. As one of the biggest issues of our time, inequality requires the consistent efforts of all countries which until now has been lacking. Despite global efforts to reduce inequality in income and opportunities, progress is stalled by deep-rooted systemic inequalities. However, it is shown that it is possible for economic growth that occurs in harmony with nature. With initial examples of global prosperity and progress on climate change being achieved at the same time, we need to follow these examples and build on at a faster pace given the urgency of the challenges we are facing. If we can achieve Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), Goal 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), Goal 10 (Reduce Inequalities), Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), a sustainable and prosperous world for all would be guaranteed.
Determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. The SDGs claimed that “There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.” Conflicts threaten human rights and progress made on our goals. However, there has been an increase in conflicts in the recent years. This has led to the number of people killed in armed conflicts 10 times more than 2005 and the number of countries with violent conflicts is at the peak of the last 30 years. To make matters worse, 5.1 billion people lack meaningful access to justice, including at least 253 million people living in extreme conditions of injustice. While these statistics are severe, there are still opportunities for progress towards the 2030 Agenda with commensurate focus to provide justice and peace for all.
Given that these issues are problems that cross geography and sectors, collaboration between countries as well as individuals are needed for the accomplishment of the SDGs. Despite the unfavourable state that we are in, it is fortunate to see many young activists campaigning for action towards climate change to corporations that put sustainability into their core plants. These are huge steps toward a more promising future, but this is still not enough especially when it comes to reaching out to the furthest behind. Governments play a crucial role in mobilizing finance and enacting policies that upholds justice for the people as well as creating decent work for citizens. In order to achieve an inclusive and sustainable global community, governments, corporations as well as the citizens must work together to improve the current state of the world we are living in.