Power to The People: Reaching Sustainable Development GoalsSustainable development goals, also known as Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is comprised of 17 global goals that elucidates 169 targets. The goals were founded by the U.N., and are listed as follows:

  1. End global poverty
  2. Achieve food security, thereby ending world hunger
  3. Ensure healthcare for everyone
  4. Make education accessible to all
  5. Achieve gender equality
  6. Ensure availability to sanitary water for all
  7. Provide jobs and sustainable economic growth
  8. Build resilient infrastructure and foster innovation
  9. Make cities and other dense human settlements inclusive and safe
  10. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  11. Take urgent action to combat climate change by regulating emissions
  12. Conserve and use marine resources sustainably
  13. Switch to affordable and clean energy
  14. Reduce income inequalities
  15. Protect and conserve the biodiversity of terrestrial ecosystems
  16. Provide access to justice for all
  17. Strengthen global partnership

While it is important for the global community to focus on the macro-cosmic picture of tackling these issues, having local governments and citizens face these issues is equally vital. Beneficiaries are often the last group to be consulted about the efforts that are being implemented to help their lives. Problem solving that addresses the specific needs of different communities is so beneficial because it does not focus on one overarching idea, but rather the specific needs of the people within the community.

With the global community and local communities working simultaneously, there is a greater chance for more widespread empathetic progress being made in terms of achieving sustainable development goals worldwide. One of the largest problems is that those who have political power are not impoverished and those who are impoverished do not have political power.

Thus, poverty is often overlooked by those in seats of power. This starts with education. If education is made available to those people who are impoverished, then they are being given an effective say in their communities, and therefore some degree of power.

Eradication of global poverty will not happen unless we are able to give power over to the people who are impoverished and thereby have a more nuanced understanding of the situations that they themselves face. This empowers people in lower income communities to receive an education, making it possible for them to impart the change they want to see in their communities.

However, this is still a tandem effort. By supporting the Education for All Act, a bipartisan initiative that would advance basic education worldwide while protecting U.S. security interests, even those who are citizens of developed nations can help to empower individuals to reach sustainable development goals in developing nations to help themselves and their communities.

Kayla Provencher

Photo: Flickr