Sustainable Development Goal 18: Engagement and Interest for Development Within All People. How does that sound? Why is this goal needed when we already have 17 of them? But I know that if it actually was an SDG it would already be achieved. I can confidently say so after having the honor of attending this year’s United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA) Week in New York City.
If we take a look at the Millennium Development Goals I think that – to be honest – it was a thing created by force. The world was falling apart and our world leaders just had to figure out a solution. The result of that were a few great, optimistic, goals that we were all supposed to work on together. Where did it go wrong? How come we did not achieve the Millennium Development Goals? Of course, there were plenty of reasons. For example the lack of detailed targets and goals, the unrealistic part of achieving them and the missing piece of partnership. But the one thing I see in the new Sustainable Development Goals is interest and engagement.
When attending the UNGA week, I met all kinds of people with different ages, backgrounds, titles and careers, but still they all have one thing in common – they want to achieve the SDG’s for real. They don’t work with and fight for these goals because they have to, they do it because they really believe that these goals are necessary and that they can play a part in making them reality.
So looking at the pretend goal number 18 – Engagement and Interest – we can lean back and be proud of ourselves. With not only a year working with the SDG’s we have already achieved what I think is the most important goal – being engaged and interested in the change-making journey. Of course, this is not the most important part when it comes to the change that is actually being made. It is much more important that we achieve goals regarding poverty, hunger, gender equality, health and education. But I think that this imaginary goal number 18 is the most necessary goal if we shall even have a chance of completing the SDG’s within 2030.
So even though this goal does not exist for real – let’s pretend it does. Because in that case we can be proud of ourselves for completing the goal that will drive us forward to achieve the rest of them. From now on – let us continue this change-making journey together, with the passion and real will of getting things done. I really do believe that the Sustainable Development Goals will be a part of the history books, showing how they really made an actual change around the world – thanks to all of the engaged and interested people driven by the passion and will of leading the way.
Featured Photo of the Girls’ Globe team in New York during UNGA week. Credit: Zayira Ray for Girls’ Globe