Monday, June 25, 2018 | ePaper

Put people first to solve problems

  • Print
Habiba Al Mar'ashi :
Getting a group of people together and having them agree on a solution to fix a certain problem can be quite a challenge. I find it nothing short of a miracle when governments get together to come to an understanding when it comes to solving issues like world peace, poverty and hunger, etc. That is exactly what 193 countries did in early 2016 when they came together and unanimously signed off on some very ambitious anti-poverty goals called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
There are a total of 17 Sustainable Development Goals that cover topics such as no poverty, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities and more. These universal goals have within them 169 targets, which in turn have at least two indicators under each target to measure implementation.
The SDGs are the sequel to the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) that have helped reduce global poverty by 50 per cent. MDGs have also made significant progress in ensuring accessibility of drinking water to a large number of people, and made considerable gains in fighting malaria and tuberculosis. The MDGs primarily applied to developing countries. In contrast, the SDGs are more universal and realise that the scope of problems and challenges are more global in nature, and not country-specific.
Each country is responsible for prioritising amongst these 17 SDGs and setting their own national plans by taking into account local circumstances. This will help ensure that respective governments, civil societies, private sector and others feel a sense of ownership and set realistic targets that have a strong local impact and influence the bigger picture, too.
The common factor for all these 17 universal goals and their 169 targets is the commitment to ending poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and fixing climate change among others. If each of the goals is met, we can witness a truly different world by 2030.
When launching the SDGs, the former UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon stated on behalf of the 193 signatory countries that nobody would be left behind when it comes to addressing these pressing global issues. I also believe that it is extremely important that nobody overlooks his or her responsibility when it comes to realising these goals. The more people know about SDGs, the more successful they will be. Every government, every organisation and every educational institution needs to know about these goals, work on spreading the knowledge and contribute towards achieving them with their time, effort and resources. There is a wealth of information available online on each of the SDGs, and I urge all companies and people to read more about them.
While the SDGs have their share of sceptics and critics, these goals do give us hope and meaningful targets to work towards. The goals are ambitious, yet if we put our resources and minds together, we can achieve them. The SDGs are not just an achievement or a responsibility of the governments and large organisations, they represent human struggle to improve the world we live in.
Each one of us can be a better person, if we read about the SDG targets and actively change our lifestyles to become more responsible and considerate human beings. From the 17 goals, pick the ones you are most passionate about, and think about how you can contribute towards them. I have been an environmental activist for more than 25 years. And it is something that I will continue to fight for along with other causes such as gender equality and climate action. I am sure there is an SDG that can benefit from your energy and wisdom. Always remember that the change starts within you and with you.
(Habiba Al Mar'ashi is the President and CEO of Arabia CSR Network).

More News For this Category

Until regional powers force Myanmar the scenario will not change

THE United Nations on Saturday commended Bangladesh government's commitment to support the Rohingya refugees and highlighted that 'the root causes of the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar must be addressed'. Adama

Fatal accidents are increasing, make roads and highways safe for passengers

TERMING it as the deadliest day, the news media reported that at least 55 people were killed in separate road accidents in different districts across the country on Saturday. Bangladesh

Geoengineering for combating warming

Dr. M Abul Kashem Mozumder and Dr. Md. Shairul Mashreque :The key note of sustainable development is  geoengineering . The term is scientific difficult to understand for the social scientist.

Role of investment in FDI flows

Serge Krancenblum :On May 22, the Investment Facilitation Forum (IFF) organises an event that seeks to clarify the role of investment hubs and explore how their activities are linked to

Development for common mass

Lathiful Khabira :Bangladesh is a developing country with its overall economic capacity. We have promising garment industry, multinational business, modern shopping malls, several infrastructures and other ongoing large projects. Based

Readers’ Forum

Deaths under the wheel The news published in the New Nation in the last few days is appalling and have made us very upset by its context. It said that

Government must ensure safe recruitment process for our migrant workers

ACCORDING to a leading Malaysian newspaper, an organised trafficking gang led by a Bangladeshi businessman has taken control over sending and securing jobs for expat Bangladeshis in Malaysia. The businessman

American people rose against inhumanity of Trump`s immigration policy : Trump remains un-American

US President Donald Trump took an U-turn and changed his own policy amid strong protest by American people.  There are huge criticism and outcry in America over the way undocumented

Bangladesh and two other protecting half the world's new refugees

Jan Egeland :Turkey, Bangladesh and Uganda alone received over half of all new refugees last year. Never before has the world registered a larger number of people displaced by war

America first or America alone ?

Tharanga Yakupitiyage :The United States' move to withdraw from the Human Rights Council will have "reverberations" throughout the world in years to come, say human rights groups. This week, the