SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: MOVING TOWARDS THE GOAL?
Sustainability. A term we hear almost every day on almost every topic. Whether it’s straws for drinks, driving a car or simply the topic of living, sustainability accompanies us everywhere. But there is much more to sustainability than just reducing plastic, for example. Sustainable education will last a lifetime and lets others benefit, sustainable agriculture ensures intact land and its usability, sustainable energy is renewable and not just gone at some point.
On 25 September 2015, the members of the United Nations sat down together at the Sustainability Summit to find a solution to the topic of sustainability. This resulted in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are to be achieved by 2030. The urgent call, like the United Nations named them. It was clear that this would not be achievable, but the United Nations decided to work towards it.
We are now seven years away from the deadline of achievement and closer to the goal. Or are we?
A lot is happening in the world, but also nothing. The world is constantly changing, new events always occurring. At the same time there are things that remain or seem unchanging. One might even think that in the past eight years, the world and its members of the United Nations moved even further away from the Sustainable Development Goals. However, giving up should never be a solution. Where would we be if we ignored or, even worse, worked against sustainability?
Sustainable Development Goal number 4: The need for quality education around the world.
Education is one of the most important factors in promoting individual and societal development. However, around 260 million children around the world do not have the opportunity to attend school every day or not even at all. Education offers opportunities and freedom.
Sustainable Development Goal number 7: The need for affordable and clean energy.
Affordable and clean energy is essential for promoting environmental sustainability, economic development, energy security, health and well-being, and sustainable development.
940 million people don’t have access to energy that is required for basic human needs like cooking, transport and communication.
By investing in and prioritising the development of affordable and clean energy sources, we can create a more sustainable and prosperous future for ourselves and future generations.
Sustainable Development Goal number 10: The need to decrease inequality.
Our lives are filled with inequality in different forms such as economic inequality, gender inequality and racial inequality. Overall, inequality can have a range of negative consequences, both for individuals and society as a whole. Addressing inequality is important for creating a fair and just society where everyone has the opportunity to succeed and thrive.
The Sustainable Development Goals are important because they provide a shared vision and framework for promoting sustainable development that is based on human rights, partnerships, and an integrated approach on social, economic, and environmental challenges. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require sustained effort and cooperation, but the benefits of a more just and sustainable world are worth the investment.
However, our Conference Theme for MUNOL 2023 is: Sustainable Development: Moving Toward the Goal?
Our theme is a question to you as representatives of the members of the United Nations. Have we as the United Nations worked towards the Sustainable Development Goals and are we closer to the goals, or have we moved away from them and made the situation worse?
Louise Bouwer Nike Rahlf
Secretary General Deputy Secretary General