Toward a Vision of the Future: 2015 - 2030
There is a historic process of dialogue and negotiation currently underway as the United Nations seeks to define a new set of goals for the post 2015 world. What vision of the future will inspire and drive the United Nations agenda? How will the UN plan to achieve the goals it sets? What impact will these goals have on the lives of billions of human beings? And, more important than anything – how does this involve me and my family?
These are all critical questions that are central to the process of negotiating a new set of Sustainable Development Goals for the future period 2015 - 2030. Right now the Goals are beginning to solidify around 16 focus areas – 16 themes where specific goals and targets will be set. This week the Open Working Group of Governments in the General Assembly is meeting together with civil society and interested parties in its Eleventh Session to help to flesh out the themes and to begin to seek agreement on specific targets.
It is worth listing the 16 Focus Areas and their major associated goal. We can visualize a massive organizing of goodwill forces in these 16 focus areas during the next 15 years. We can imagine history being shaped as people from all viewpoints begin to organize their lives in some small way around one of these points of focus. Imagine people of goodwill increasingly finding purpose and meaning in their contribution to one of these focus areas. Imagine a future where, during the next 15 years, young people entering into their working lives become increasingly engaged in a vast variety of activities designed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – locally, nationally, regionally and globally. We can nurture this future possibility in our imagination and in our actions.
The Sustainable Development Goals invite us to imagine the coming years 2015 - 2030 in terms of a dynamic movement towards right relations. The goals will include specific targets to be achieved by 2030.
Focus Area 1. Poverty eradication, building shared prosperity and promoting equality: End poverty in all its forms everywhere;
Focus Area 2. Sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition: End hunger and improve nutrition for all through sustainable agriculture and improved food systems;
Focus Area 3. Health and population dynamics: Healthy life at all ages for all;
Focus Area 4. Education and life-long learning: Provide quality education and life-long learning for all;
Focus Area 5. Gender equality and women’s empowerment: Attain gender equality and women’s empowerment everywhere;
Focus Area 6. Water and sanitation: Water and sanitation for a sustainable world;
Focus Area 7. Energy: Ensure access to affordable, sustainable, and reliable modern energy for all;
Focus Area 8. Economic growth, employment and infrastructure: Promote sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth and decent jobs for all;
Focus Area 9. Industrialization and promoting equality among nations: Promote sustainable industrialization and equality among nations;
Focus Area 10. Sustainable cities and human settlements: Build inclusive, safe and sustainable cities and human settlements;
Focus Area 11. Sustainable Consumption and Production: Promote sustainable consumption and production patterns;
Focus Area 12. Climate change: Take urgent and significant action to mitigate and adapt to climate change - Build a climate change goal based on the outcome of COP21 of the UNFCCC;
Focus Area 13. Conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas: Take urgent and significant actions for the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas;
Focus Area 14. Ecosystems and biodiversity: Protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems and halt all biodiversity loss;
Focus Area 15. Means of implementation/Global partnership for sustainable development: Strengthen global partnership for sustainable development.
Focus area 16. Peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law and capable institutions. Peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law and capable institutions
As preparation for the 11th Session of the Open Working Group this week, a Working Document has been prepared summarizing proposals for the goals. It is well worth studying this summary: sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/3686WorkingDoc_0205_additionalsupporters.pdf
For those who want to follow this more rigorously, it is worth exploring some of the documents under consideration on the UN website for the Open Working Group: Eleventh session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform as well as the latest UN NGO Liaison Service newsletter on the process: UN-NGLS Releases Issue #6 of The 2015 Post - United Nations - Non-governmental Liaison Service; and the major civil society site where you can vote on major themes you and your family want to be included in the Sustainable Development Goals: My World 2015 | Vote for the world you want to see.