In 2000, the United Nations created an agenda called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were a guide for the next fifteen years to achieve eight global issue based goals. They where
- Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
- Achieve Universal Primary Education
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce Child Morality
- Improve Maternal Health
- Combat HIV, Malaria and other diseases
- Ensure environmental sustainability
- Develop a global partnership in development
The purpose of these goals was to direct the global community in a common direction on issues of particular concern to developing countries. It’s been fifteen years, and the United Nations failed to fully achieve the MDGs goals. The UN only partially achieved their goals. Several problems with the agenda were that it was too vague, too ambitious, had few indicators (numerical measurement of success) and they were unachievable. Their goals were too global and not specific enough. They also failed to account the initial differences in a country’s economic and social situation. The 2015 expiration date of the MDGs ignited the process to establish an updated agenda which is now known as the 2030 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs).
The United Nations held their summit on September 25th in New York City to announce the launching of a new agenda known as Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). The agenda is composed of 17 goals and 169 targets to eradicate poverty, fight inequality, and combat climate for the next fifteen years. This agenda is simultaneously broader and more specific because there are more indicators.
Pope Francis gave a speech during the inauguration and called on The United Nations to work for peace and justice. The pope praised the UN for helping and protecting the environment, allying poverty, and further improving peace. He exhorted the organization to stay moral and warns them against being “selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity which leads both to the misuse of available natural resources and to the exclusion of the weak and disadvantaged”
The challenges that the SDGs are going to face are similar to the ones the MGDs faced. Where are they going to get the funding to start and build these social projects? One of the ideas that has been going around is global corporate social responsibility. Getting money from global corporate social responsibility companies, such as Caterpillar and BNY Melon who are looking to fund to finance development.