The United Nations and Global Poverty: The SDGs
The United Nations (UN) is an international organisation founded in 1945. It is currently made up of 193 member states and works to promote peace, security, and sustainable development around the world. One of the UN’s main goals is to end global poverty.
Every year, world leaders meet at the UN General Assembly in New York to discuss pressing global issues. This year’s Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda was held from 25-27 September 2015. At the Summit, world leaders committed to 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire in December 2015.
The new SDGs aim to end poverty, hunger, and inequality; protect the environment; and ensure that everyone has access to education, healthcare, and decent work. Achieving these goals will not be easy, but they are essential if we want to build a better future for all.
2. What is poverty?
There is no single definition of poverty. The World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than US$1.90 per day, while the UN defines it as living on less than US$2 per day. However, many people believe that these definitions are too narrow and do not take into account the many different dimensions of poverty.
Poverty is more than just a lack of money. It is also a lack of opportunity, power, and choice. Poor people often have little or no voice in decisions that affect their lives. They may not have access to education, healthcare, or decent work. They may live in unsafe and unhealthy conditions. And they may be discriminated against because of their social status or ethnicity.
3. The UN and global poverty
The UN has been working to end global poverty for decades. In 2000, world leaders adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of 8 goals that aimed to improve the lives of poor people around the world by 2015.
The MDGs included targets such as halving extreme poverty and providing universal primary education. While progress has been made towards achieving these goals, much more needs to be done if we want to end global poverty for good.
4. The 8 poverty-fighting goals
The new SDGs build on the success of the MDGs and aim to end poverty in all its forms by 2030. There are 17 goals in total, but Goal 1 focuses specifically on ending poverty:
”End poverty in all its forms everywhere.”
To achieve this goal, we need to tackle the root causes of poverty and ensure that everyone has access to basic rights and services. This includes ensuring that everyone has enough food to eat, adequate shelter, clean water and sanitation, quality education, and decent work opportunities.
We also need to reduce inequality within and between countries. This means working to close thegap between rich and poor people within countries, as well as between developed and developing nations.
Achieving these goals will not be easy, but they are essential if we want to build a better future for all.
Corruption is one of the main obstacles to achieving the SDGs. When corrupt officials misuse public funds or engage in bribery, they take away resources that could be used to help the poor and vulnerable.
Corruption also undermines trust in government and institutions. This can make it harder for people to participate in decision-making processes or hold their leaders accountable.
Gender inequality is another major obstacle to ending poverty. Women and girls often face discrimination in education, employment, and healthcare. They may also be more likely to experience violence and abuse.
Empowering women and girls is essential if we want to achieve the SDGs. This means ensuring that they have the same rights and opportunities as men and boys. It also means investing in programmes and services that meet their specific needs.
Education is a fundamental human right and one of the best investments we can make in our future. However, millions of children around the world do not have access to quality education.
Investing in education is essential if we want to break the cycle of poverty and build a more equitable and sustainable world. quality education for all will help us achieve other SDGs, such as reducing inequalities, empowering women and girls, and creating decent work opportunities.
Healthcare is another essential service that everyone has a right to access. However, millions of people around the world do not have access to basic healthcare services. This includes life-saving vaccines, maternal health services, and treatments for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
Investing in healthcare is essential if we want to achieve the SDGs. Good health is essential for people to lead productive lives and escape poverty. Universal healthcare coverage would also help reduce inequalities within and between countries.
Achieving the SDGs will require a significant investment from both developed and developing countries. However, many developing nations do not have the resources necessary to invest in their own development. This is why it is important for developed countries to provide financial assistance to developing nations through things like foreign aid or debt relief.
In addition to financial assistance, developed countries can also help by sharing knowledge and technology with developing nations. This will help them build the capacity necessary to achieve the SDGs on their own.
The SDGs are a roadmap for achieving a better future for all. They provide a clear and concise way to address the many different dimensions of poverty. However, achieving these goals will not be easy. We need to tackle the root causes of poverty and ensure that everyone has access to basic rights and services. This includes ensuring that everyone has enough food to eat, adequate shelter, clean water and sanitation, quality education, and decent work opportunities. We also need to reduce inequality within and between countries. This means working to close the gap between rich and poor people within countries, as well as between developed and developing nations. Achieving these goals will require a significant investment from both developed and developing countries. However, it is an investment that is essential if we want to build a more equitable and sustainable world.