Pratham Golcha, Student, Nagpur University, India

When we talk about the Sustainable Development Goals, set forth by the United Nations, we really need to be clear as to what the term exactly means and holds. The SDGs were adopted by the UN as “an urgent call for action”, which includes shared interests and partnerships of the developed and developing countries. There are in total 17 SDGs listed out by the UN, ranging from “No Poverty” and “Zero Hunger” to “Climate Action” and “Partnership for the Goals”. In words of the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, “The 2030 agenda and its 17 SDGs, adopted in 2015, provide a coherent, holistic framework for addressing these challenges and their interconnections. Their implementation must embody the principles of inclusiveness, integration and ‘leaving no one behind’ “.

The United Nations has set a target of the year 2030 to achieve a more secure, prosperous, and equal world by the international community. The critical areas that these goals would focus and stimulate action upon include- poverty, hunger, education, health and well-being, education, gender equality, water and sanitation, energy, economic growth and decent work, infrastructure, industry and innovation, reducing inequalities, sustainable cities, consumption and production, climate action, ecosystems, peace and justice, and partnership. These goals establish the fact that education, economic growth, climate action and partnership are not different and individual entities, but rather are interconnected to one another. The 17 Goals and 169 targets cannot be met efficiently if there are no effective and renewed collaborations and partnerships amongst individuals, the society and also the governments. Each individual on this earth needs to pitch in and contribute as much as they can so that this planet can become a more sustainable and better world to live in. That is precisely the reason why the tag line of SDGs is ‘Leave No One Behind’ to highlight the importance of each individual’s participation. But to put things in perspective, it is quintessential to actually implement them in reality, rather than just imbibe them by reading. One of the important factors required is to decarbonize and apply efficient energy services. Secondly, it’s necessary to cut down on pollution, and focus on sustainable housing and mobility. Thirdly, there is an increased need to press for gender equality, better health, education and decent job facilities. Living in the age of digital revolution, it is highly recommended to inculcate biotechnology, big data, nanotech and artificial intelligence to meet essential diagnostic and research needs and to know how far-fetched the goals are.

Another aspect that needs great emphasis is circular economy, continued diplomacy and sustainable use of non-renewable resources to realize the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The essence of these goals lies in the fact that these are universally applicable in nature and are linked to one another, hence are indivisible. It all depends upon the current generation to become the torch bearers of mankind and it’s necessary to be aware of the fact that it all lies in our hands. In short, it is “now or never”. Thus, there is undoubtedly, an urgent need to address the global issues and find pertinent mitigation steps to resuscitate human kind and save the world from the blushes of the wrongdoings. It is also noteworthy to mention that the respective governments taking up the implementation of these goals do so according to their national policies, strategies and laws as it may differ from nation to nation, society to society. There is definitely a reaffirmation of values underlining the society, such as peace and partnership, without which the penetration and awareness of these Sustainable Development Goals isn’t possible globally. It needs to be consistently stressed that these fifteen years, (2015-2030) would be defining for the world as a whole and the global society faces an acid test as far as achieving these goals are concerned, particularly in a post-pandemic world. There are no doubts that a cent percent application of these goals along with the targets to be met would be no cakewalk as the under-developed and developing countries, affected by the pandemic would grapple with far wider national issues, such as struggling economy, poverty, etc. But we as youth need to make sure, that we do our bit for the same as, “Leave No One Behind” is the very motto given to us. Hence, adherence to these and careful diplomatic deliberations amongst sovereign nations would go a long way to achieve our dream- making the Earth Sustainable and a better planet to live in for our future generations.

About the Author: Pratham Golcha is currently pursuing Bachelor of Arts Degree from Nagpur University, India. He is a writer, resource speaker, blogger, podcaster, and a Chairperson of various Model United Nations programs across the world. He is also a UN Human Rights Volunteer, international research paper presenter and Chief Facilitator of SDG courses worldwide and hence, has a keen interest in SDGs.