The international organisation the United Nations just set a load of aims to make the world a better place. Only thing is, the UN didn’t meet its previous targets. What are you going to do to help?
Everyone has that friend who’s a bit of an overachiever. You know, balancing three careers simultaneously whilst also learning a new language?
In the international community the United Nations is that person.
The United Nations is an intergovernmental organisation promoting international cooperation. That’s a posh way of saying the world’s governments get together to solve problems faced by the planet. For example: war, poverty, climate change, that kind of stuff.
The United Nations formed in 1945, primarily to prevent another conflict like World War II. So far, so good.
The UN just announced its new set of Sustainable Development Goals. Big words; simple aims. These are the UN goals make the world a better place.
The full list has 17 goals.
Each goal has numerous aims and targets to be met before 2030. Ambitious much?
The list kicks off with “end poverty in all its forms everywhere”. Starting with something easy then.
It then zips through stuff like “end hunger” and “ensure sanitation for all” (clean water and all that jazz) and “achieve gender equality” for good measure. No biggie.
That’s not to mention promising “decent work for all” (fair pay and realistic working hours) making our energy and cities sustainable reducing inequality in the world.
All done yet?
The United Nations also believes we must “take urgent action to combat climate change”.
The key word here is sustainable. As in, we only have one world with limited resources, so let’s be smart about how we use them.
Oh, and the UN wants to ensure global society is inclusive and peaceful.
It’s like the to-do list of a higher power.
Errmmm… not exactly.
The Guardian reports that although the United Nations achieved significant progress with the previous set of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), many specific targets were missed. For example; Millennium Development Goal One tackled global poverty. The United Nations missed its target of halving the number of people suffering from hunger.
It’s not all doom and gloom; despite some missed targets, other aims were achieved ahead of schedule. It’s estimated that 1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty. Not bad going.
United Nations member states will meet at the UN summit 25-27th September 2015 to formally adopt the brand new Sustainable Development goals.
International organisations like the UN relies on aid from countries to fund development work.
In case you were wondering what we spend: the UK government is committed to spending 0.7% of our total income on foreign aid.
The United Nations created the Sustainable Development Fund to put organisations and businesses who want to help in touch with relevant UN and humanitarians agencies around the world.
Call it the world’s largest matchmaker.
However with goals like providing “sanitation for all” estimated to cost $290 billion a year people worry there will not be enough money.
Is it realistic to set new goals when previous ones are unfinished? Or perhaps setting the bar high is a good thing as it encourages us to strive harder?
Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general acknowledges that while remarkable gains were achieved “inequalities persist and that progress has been uneven.”
The United Nations is doing some great things in the world, though we wonder how it would go down if we tried a similar approach in our own lives.
Picture it: next time you’re given a task at work, brand it as part of something much more difficult and say “at least I tried”. Then set new targets and hope no-one notices.
Sometimes it just means you don’t hit your targets.