On 25-27,September the heads of State and governments of the 193-member United Nations (UN) will, once again, converge on the City of New York in the United States of America to formally flag off a new set of goals and targets to be vigorously pursued world-wide for the next 15 years, beginning from January 1, 2016, for the overall good of mankind and planet earth.These universal goals and targets, codenamed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed to achieve sustainable development for humanity and a well safeguarded planet earth by the year 2030, would replace the not too effective Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which global pursuit ends this September, after 15 years.
Thus, the world keenly awaits the collective pronouncement of the 193 global leaders at the end of their parley . That collective pronouncement is expected to serve as catalyst to governments of the world and key stakeholders to embark on the 15-year development marathon race to destination 2030 when development, in all its ramifications would have pervaded the entire globe with poverty and hunger gone into extinction and the planet earth fully protected, secured and safe for the upcoming generations.
A group of wise men and women, acclaimed and famed in their respective endeavors, including economists and Nobel laureates assembled by the UN, collectively referred to as the UN Open Working Group came up with 17 goals and 169 targets under the new agenda which have already sparked debates by governments and policy makers on which goals and targets are going to make the most difference to individual countries and to the world.
The 17 SDGs, which will come into effect on 1 January, 2016, are:
Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6; Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
It is hoped that if these goals and targets are realized by 2030, the world in which we live would be transformed for the better.
Although the Eight MDGs launched in the year 2000 were adjudged to have provided an important framework for human and infrastructural development world-wide, an assessment of country-by-country performance and achievement of those goals and targets 15 years after, reveals only minimal success in some areas by a few first world countries. The same cannot be said of most second and third world countries, especially those of Africa and Asia where success rates could be best described as abysmal.
The fact that the goals set out in the post-2015 development agenda are not significantly different from the MDGs, points to the general failure of the later across the globe. Thus, in presenting the repackaged MDGs now in the form of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), world leaders have resolved to commit themselves to the full realization of the unachieved MDGs within the framework of the new set of goals and targets.
The SDGs crafted to balance the three crucial dimensions of human existence, namely, the economic, the social and the environmental may not be vigorously pursued or realized if their import, essence and relevance were not fully understood by the human race through copious media reportage, expositions and public enlightenments.