For People. For Planet.
Our shared ability to do something extraordinary, if given a goal and a deadline.
In one decade, we the people, went to the moon.
A goal every person could see in the night sky.
They called it a moon shot. Two words that have come to symbolize our shared ability to do something extraordinary, if given a goal and a deadline.
We are at that moment today, with a moon shot before us.
The world has a deadline of 2030, a decade from now, to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.
What brought hope and wonder 50 years ago to a cold, dry celestial orb — we can do to develop and sustain vibrant life on earth and to protect our planet. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a blueprint created with all countries at the United Nations from which all have unanimously agreed to build our future.
There has been progress — but now it’s time for an urgent call to action. If you are reading this post, you are likely aware of the science on climate change, the damaging effects of growing inequalities, that one in nine people in the world face hunger, the rise in the number of people displaced from their homes — to name a few of the challenges. As the United Nations Secretary-General has said, fragile and conflict affected states are projected to be home to some 85% of all people remaining in extreme poverty in 2030. We have 10 years to change this trajectory.
Rubber meet road. This must be the decade of action and delivery.
From 21 to 27 September 2019, world leaders, young people, civil society, scientists, business people and more will come together at the United Nations for 5 Summits in 1 week focused on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. I look forward to exploring the innovations and partnerships that will lead us to the transformations we need by 2030.
That’s one of the reasons why I’ve started this new platform, to discover and highlight what is happening in our world and for our future. I also look forward to sharing more about what the United Nations is doing as a system with our partners to support countries to reach these goals.
There is also a more personal reason. Yes, the SDGs are visionary and larger than life, they are also meant for each of us individually and collectively. Each one of us has the power to bring the world closer to the Global Goals.
Simple things, like heeding the mantra: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle and being more mindful of what we buy and who we buy from gets us closer to Goal 12–Responsible Consumption and Production. Ensuring our families are immunized gets us closer to Goal 3–Good Health and Well-being.
And we can be encouraged to take a step further by young leaders like Susan Sebit, a lawyer in South Sudan.
Susan is organizing her community around Goal 5–Gender Equality and Goal 16–Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Susan realized that young women were not being heard in her country’s peace process and brought together a coalition of 40 women’s organizations. Life-changing results followed, including a new provision to ensure women are represented in government and funding is available to support women survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. This is nation building in action. Susan is helping to build a vibrant South Sudan.
Community organizing is an incredible lens through which to view the world. I am proud to wear activism-tinted glasses and I hope people will join me. It keeps me hopeful and accountable. This generation of activists has many of the answers. We need to listen and act now: act for ourselves, our families and for our communities.
Moon shot or Earth shot — let the decade ahead, inspire us to leave no one behind. Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals is our best shot — for people, for planet, for prosperity and for peace.
5 Summits. 1 week. 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
21–23 September Climate Action
23 September Universal Health Coverage
24–25 September Sustainable Development
26 September Financing for Development
27 September Small Island Developing States
By Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group
This post was originally published via Medium on 18 September 2019
Featured photo: View of the earth from the moon. Credit: NASA/Shutterstock