SIM Social Impact Movement

Why the Sustainable Development Goals Matter

Author: Chloe Aldrich

We believe that all people have equal value, and it has been heartbreaking to see how this construct has been abused by the human race worldwide in so many circumstances. In government, at schools, and in workplaces, there is almost always a hierarchy based on what should be insignificant factors when it comes to receiving basic rights, such as gender, race, and socioeconomic status. These feelings of superiority among particular groups of people have led to many of our world’s greatest tragedies, such as war and oppression. If we don’t see others as equal and treat them as such, we will never be able to achieve a harmonious society. However, the Sustainable Development Goals work towards ending this mistreatment, striving to better our society by eliminating hunger, reducing inequalities, and building sustainable communities all around the world. Here is more information on why these goals matter: 

The Four Core Principles 

According to the United Nations Development Programme, the Sustainable Development Goals Matter because they are guided by four main principles: 

  • Universality: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) take a holistic approach, considering different national realities, levels of development, and national policies and priorities. This makes it universally applicable to all societies and people worldwide. The 2030 Agenda requires a collective response from people everywhere, with countries developing their own methods to reach national targets. To achieve success, strengthened governance practices and institutions are vital. 
  • Integration: The SDGs emphasize the fact that sustainable development is about more than just three disconnected pillars. Thus, they take an approach that balances and integrates the social, environmental, and economic dimensions. Additionally, they take governance into account, interconnecting all of these areas. 
  • Human rights and equity: We must recognize that inequalities are determined by more than just economics, with injustices like racial and gender-based oppression plaguing our world today. Thus, it is crucial to consider all types of inequities when determining how to achieve basic levels of goods and services for all. The Sustainable Development Goals do just this, advocating for better redistribution of wealth and resources (both within and between countries), equitable access to opportunities for all, information and rule of law, and new approaches that build capacities at all levels of society. 
  • Innovation: Innovative pathways are vital in enabling countries to propel forwards in technological advancements. In 2018, the United Nations Environment Programme developed Good Life Goals alongside other partners. A set of personal actions that people worldwide can take to help support the Sustainable Development Goals, the Good Life Goals are actions that are carefully aligned with the 17 SDGs. The 17 types of actions are: help end poverty, eat better, stay well, learn and teach, treat everyone equally, save water, use clean energy, do good work, make smart choices, be fair, love where you live, live better, act on climate, clean the seas, love nature, make peace, and come together. 

All Call For Unity 

It is we who decide the fate of humanity, whether it be for good or bad. Thus, it is so important that we demonstrate our concern for our fellow people by striving for an equitable world. We must shed our society of preconceived notions about position and status, promoting an environment founded upon justice and fairness. By doing so, we can create a more united world.