In the beginning of September 2015, the largest gathering of leaders in world history were assembled to commit their nations to a new set of global development goals. On the 25th the same month, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced that the 193 country representatives that had gathered, had come to an agreement on a set of 17 new development goals. Previously, a set of 8 goals were developed to eradicate extreme poverty: The 8 millennium development goals /MDGs set in 2000 failed certain people and countries, so these new goals were set to reach everyone and leave no one behind. I would say The MDGs ultimately laid a foundation for the Sustainable Development Goals to become the more detailed and improved set of goals.
Although it is extremely difficult to favour one of the goals over the others, I believe goal number 2 is among the most important ones: « End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture» or «Zero hunger» as its also called.
Hunger and malnutrition can, and will, affect ones physical and mental health. Therefore, eliminating hunger and malnutrition is incredibly important. Hunger involves absence of necessary vitamins, proteins and nutrients that contain the energy we all need to function productively. When individuals experience prolonged hunger, damaging chemicals are released in their brain. As well as chemical release, other symptoms of malnutrition and hunger such as fatigue and low energy, muscle weakness, bloated stomachs, and poor immune function is common. An inadequate immune system will cause the body to have troubles fighting off infections and diseases, and the chances of severe sickness or death is much greater.
- To put things in perspective: One in nine people are currently sat hungry, whilst one third of all food is wasted as nothing but garbage.
– Approximately nine million (+) die of world hunger every year, according to world hunger statistics. That is more than the death toll for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined in 2012.
The statistics are horrifying, but believe it or not, there has been progress. The MDGs have certainly given countries a push in the back. So far, the statistics show that 24% living in hunger in 1990 has improved to 12% in 2015. The goal of halving the percentage of people living hungry is close, and 72 countries are already is monitored to have reached the said MDG goal. Things are moving forward, and people more heavily engaging in the problem are slowly but steadily increasing.
Despite the colossal progress made over two decades, 925 million (and counting) are still suffering from hunger globally. But to fight hunger, we need to know where the main origin of the problem lies. I believe hunger and malnutrition has its origin in the immense levels of inequality within and between countries and continents. To be able to feed all sufficiently and equally is one of the most prodigious challenges we face as of today. Although it is proven that globally there is no shortage of food, and the road towards exterminating world hunger is shorter than we believe. If we make the right decisions, emphasizing the word right, I believe we can reach the goal of eliminating world hunger.
I want to mention the 17th goal as well: «Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development” or easier said: the necessity of working together. To reach the goals set for sustainable development, the agenda needs intensive cooperation between ordinary citizens, the governments, and the private sectors.
As of now, the Sustainable development goals are «just» words on paper. If we want the goals to be transformative, we need hard work, energy, and good will to put our words into action. Ultimately, development is about intensifying the rights and freedoms of the poor. Although it is unlikely that all the goals will be met, I believe that making a progress in the first place is a major step in the right direction.
- Will a new set of goals help shift the world from a dangerous path, to a sustainable and good world? Can the UN goals make a significant sufficient difference?
If you want to know more about this goal, and the other 16 goals you can go to https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/ and read more!
Sources used to write this blog entry: