Let’s hear it for the SDGs
If you’ve been following global development, you probably have heard that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are expiring this year (2015). RIP, MDGs. You’ve done good work around issues of poverty, education, health, hunger, and the environment. But you’ve had your turn. Currently, about 1 billion people remain trapped in extreme poverty, and the MDGs did little to examine the root causes of such crises.
Now, let’s get behind the Sustainable Development Goals, also established by the United Nations, but which are much more collaborative and hopefully more attainable.
This is important stuff — the SDGs will kickstart global decisions until 2030.
One huge plus — The SDGs represent more voices in the conversation, over a million, in fact. In contrast, the MDGs were written in the U.N. basement by a small team of men who had to stop the first printing because they’d forgotten to include anything about environmental sustainability. They DID forget human rights, and the part about economic development was really fuzzy. (Yikes!)
From my communication lens, the UN is upping its game for massive public buy-in. I’ve been involved in SDG working groups for years, and everybody can still hop on Vote My World 2015 to prioritize issues.
On the other hand, it will be harder to snag the public’s attention for 17 SDGs, compared to the eight MDGs. I’ve seen a media toolkit that’s over 50 pages and includes different spins from hundreds of organizations, with each trying to claim a foothold in this critical framing.
This we know: Our work at Global Spark must continue to be part of global models; for instance, the second SDG focuses on ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture. The work of Global Spark in indigenous food sovereignty, although one tiny piece, adds to this initiative for safe, nutritious, and accessible food for all.
And here’s what you can do: Please keep an eye out for the Rio +20 conference later this month and join us in Partnerships for the SDGs, a free online platform to register voluntary commitments. If it takes a village to raise a child, it’s going to take all of us to transform our world.