The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a 17 super formula to solve the world’s worst problems. Agreed upon in 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly by member states, the 17 goals set to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs took over from their predecessor; the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ended in 2015. The failures recorded with the MDGs formed the take-off lessons for the SDGs. One of the major MDG failures is the fact that the success of the goals was not experienced equally across the globe; this in itself is a major defeat. Consider a few of these statistics from different countries concerning the same MDGs.
Extreme Poverty 50 Percent Reduction Rate:
- Southeastern Asia exceeded the goal for extreme poverty reduction by 16 percent
- Southern Asia exceeded the goal by 12.5 percent
- Northern Africa scraped by at about 1.2 percent
- Sub-Saharan Africa was by far the most behind. It did not even meet the goal for extreme poverty reduction and was 12.5 percent away from doing so.
These obvious gaps and shortcomings of the MDG also reflected in the “donor-recipient” relationship whereas the SDG favours a collective action by all countries which is built on the principles agreed upon in Resolution A/RES/66/288, entitled “The future we want”. With a total of 169 targets and 232 approved indicators, the SDGs was adapted to measure compliance. This universal agenda is a call to action for low, middle and high-income countries alike. It lays out a set of comprehensive goals that focus on people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership for 15 years. It integrates the vision of “leaving no one behind” which can likely be accomplished through expanded partnerships for both traditional and non-traditional actors such as Governments, Civil Society, private sector, and the United Nations system. Looking at the past achievements we can see that during the last 5years the fulfillments of the goals are indeed taking a slow turn. With the urgency of achieving the set goals the Decade of Action has been set up so as to achieve the goals with accurate timing and perfect results but with what is happening now in the world indeed our eyes have been open to see that the goals thought to have been achieved were not really achieved.
Progress of the SDG has further slowed down due to the present coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) that is ravaging the entire world. Prior to the pandemic, there has been a huge momentum around action mobilization across the world. Climate change has continued to threaten all of us with less commitment across the globe by world leaders to lead with precise actions. Africa is still struggling to mark her place with the hope of meeting the marks on the dashboard. Generally there has been a slow progress in the implementation of the goals. The way we see the world in the next 10 years is a perfect world free from insecurities, crime, hunger, poverty, inequalities among a few. The UN secretary general Antonio Guterres in September 2019 called on all sectors of society to mobilize for a decade of action on three levels: global action to secure greater leadership, more resources and smarter solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals; local action embedding the needed transitions in the policies, budgets, institutions and regulatory frameworks of governments, cities and local authorities; and people action, including by youth, civil society, the media, the private sector, unions, academia and other stakeholders, to generate an unstoppable movement pushing for the required transformations.
The Decade of Action is set to:
- Mobilize everyone, everywhere
- Demand urgency and ambition
- Supercharge ideas to solutions
Why we are hopeful
The drive of human passion has demonstrated our shared ability to deliver the ordinary in an extraordinary way. The 2030 Agenda is our roadmap for the world we all want to see and be part of. The Global Goals are our best hope—for people, for planet, for prosperity, for peace and for partnerships. It’s time we work together to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Eniola Dorcas Morkikan
Communications Intern at the Global Goals Community Center; Abuja Nigeria