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27/02/2020 The magazine by Communication Science students of the UvA

Heads up toward a new decade, folks! 2020 is all about change… says the UN

The SDGs are seventeen sustainable development goals created by the UN. Cecilia tells you all about it and explains why procrastination for the UN and for the seven billion people on earth is no longer an option.


New year, new decade, new people. Time to update the bucket list and add some new year’s resolutions. What to begin with? The SDGs. 17 sustainable development goals the UN aims to achieve within the next ten years. How? By taking action. Joining the forces to save the planet before it’s too late. 

Idealized by the UN in 2015, the SDGs are seventeen challenges and commitments the member states intent to deliver by the end of the decade. Concerning issues belonging to the economic, political and social spheres of society, the 2030 Agenda doesn’t leave any room for procrastination. Or laziness. Time for action has finally come, and as (auto-invited) guests on the Earth, humans should gather together to prevent a non-turning point. Because the end data portray, does not promise a “happily ever after”. Not this time.

To each his own
Sure, the UN created the Agenda and the members signed it, but the roles to be covered are countless and the “elite” alone won’t be enough to do so. Luckily though, there are 7 billion people on the Earth, and saving the planet will arguably benefit all of them.

That said, three levels of commitments have been designed. Firstly, action at a Global degree is required. A greater sense of leadership, both individual and collective, and a  more efficient usage of the economic resources. Then, local action must be taken. Governments and multi-dimensional institutions are responsible for the management of both budgets and policies. And finally, ordinary people must commit themselves to the cause. How? By promoting the SDGs in the schools, on the streets, on social media, and by sticking to their tasks, no exceptions admitted. So, as Plato said once, to each his own. And we better get started.

Concerning issues belonging to the economic, political and social spheres of society, the 2030 Agenda doesn’t leave any room for procrastination.

But why now?
Well, because even though the 2030 Agenda was signed in 2015, hardly any progress has been reached in the past five years. Procrastination, or perhaps ignorance? Probably. But data change fast, expectations worsen, and rumours become objective facts. Issues such as poverty, hunger, and inequality have been underestimated for too long. People have been waiting and waiting. To be pushed on the urge, to swing on the edge of the ravine, to panic. But now that the SDG’s are everywhere – on social media, on billboards in Times Square- there is no way to deny reality. So fear kicks in, and people have to face the cons of their actions. Soon, because we are far off track.

Seventeen goals, too many?
The 2030 Agenda is a quiet ambitious one. Seventeen challenges and a busy timetable to catch up with. Some people might say that more than believing in a better future, the SDGs require advanced multi-tasking skills. Fair enough. Especially since the 2019 report testifies that planning and deadlines are not exactly our thing. Arguably.

Well, the thing is that there is no time left. Yes, we could have prevented most of the crisis that now urge to be solved, and yes, we could have planned ahead avoiding the last-minute call. But we didn’t. So here we are, with no alternatives left but squeezing everything in. As always. 

But if seventeen is still too great to you, then think of it as a huge, but single, goal. Indeed, all the SDGs are interlinked and the commitment to one them will undoubtedly benefit the others. For instance, let’s consider the 13th, “Climate Action”, probably considered the most urgent right now. It alone influences and embraces issues such as hunger, poverty, well-being and economic growth. As well as many others.

This to say that if seventeen goals are too many, then you might focus on a single one. But do it for real. Because the clock is ticking, and 2030 is right around the corner.

 

Cover: Daria Shevtsova

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