In 2015, the world community decided upon 17 Sustainable Development Goals, themselves containing 169 separate targets. These goals range from elimination of poverty to tackling climate change, but they all share a common intention; by the time they are completed, ideally in 2030, the world will be fairer, cleaner, and more sustainable than ever before.
To try and raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals, the “World’s Largest Lesson” campaign was launched, with the intent of educating all about what the Goals seek to achieve, and how we can help. Providing resources and advice to teachers and pupils alike, it aims to facilitate participation at all levels. By doing so, they hope to create the sort of grass roots support that has in the past affected real change, and can do so again in the future. We know this sort of movement is possible, and we know the things it can achieve. As such, I encourage all who are interested to visit the website of the “World’s Largest Lesson”, at: http://worldslargestlesson.globalgoals.org/
Perhaps most interesting of these is goal number 17, Partnership for the Goals, which encourages unprecedented global integration. Indeed, I believe it is only through this increased participation that the other 16 goals can be met in a timely matter. This goal is not overly ambitious, or overly optimistic; already we are seeing countries seize upon it, with Norway and India pledging further cooperation. These goals are thus very much within the reach of the global community, which has shown that when possessed of a common purpose, it can achieve monumental changes. Most people will remember the elimination of C.F.C.’s; when faced with a clear ecological challenge, the world united to resolve it. Within a few decades, the matter had been overcome and the hole in the ozone layer had begun to shrink. It is this spirit of cooperation that these goals seek to re-evoke, and in particular Goal 17. It is also the spirit that sits at the heart of this organisation's worldview.
These goals serve as the successors to the Millennium Development Goals, which sought to achieve similar, if less wide ranging, objectives. The Millennium Development Goals achieved some considerable successes, such as halving the amount of people living on less than $1 a day seven years ahead of schedule. However, the success or failure of certain goals were all too often decided by the actions of individual countries, and rarely by cooperation or altruism between states. This is why I put such focus on Goal 17, to ensure greater cooperation between nations. The successes attained will mean relativity little if they are counterweighted by failures in countries that have received little or no support, and left to suffer alone. Therefore, the success of this grand proposal will mean nothing if it is not the success of humanity as a whole.
This is once again where the need for a global federal union comes in. By uniting humanity in a government of common interests, we can ensure that burdens and successes alike are fairly spread, that the achievements might not be marked by fulfilled quotas, but by tangible and equitable improvements in human welfare. If even one of these goals is not met, we cannot congratulate ourselves at the success of the others; we must instead lament the fact that there is still suffering in this world we have yet to resolve. This is why I feel Goal 17 is instrumental to the success of the other 16, because it is only once we fairly share the burden of human suffering that we can declare true equity among our people.