Sustainable Development Goals : Why We Must Act

For the cries of the hungry children, for the agony of the oppressed mothers, for the suffering of the unemployed fathers; we must act.

For the burning forests, for the dark cities, for the isolated societies; we must act.

For the marginalized minorities, for the oppressed communities, for the drained mother nature; we must act.

Unfortunately, countries are defying international conventions and disregarding international laws. Laws didn’t fulfil their one and only job, the justice system failed to live up to its own name, and the rule of law couldn’t do anything except becoming a well-structured set of sentences lacking power and influence. Citizens are being deprived of their constitutional, legal, and human rights and their freedoms are being jeopardized and oppressed. As long as we turn a blind eye to the pain of those who suffer, we’ll never escape a dark fate and we can never achieve global development.

85% of the world lives on less than $30 per day, two-thirds live on less than $10 per day, and every tenth person lives on less than $1.90 per day. Poverty had been unleashed and is on the rise. The global literacy rate for all males is 90.0%, and the rate for all females is 82.7%; which clearly shows that till this specific day, we failed to escape gender inequality and discrimination. The healthcare systems all around the world are devastated after a brutal pandemic and long-time diseases are emerging again. As a result, as people of action and citizens of the world, we have an obligation to join forces and advocate for global goals and international development for the sake of humanity and the sustainability of the human race and the earth as a whole.

As a wake-up call, we must act. Therefore, we have a responsibility to advocate for the implementation of global goals. As a matter of fact, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The 17 SDGs are integrated—they recognize that action in one area will affect outcomes in others and that development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability. Countries have committed to prioritising progress for those who are furthest behind. The SDGs are designed to end poverty, hunger, AIDS, and discrimination against women and girls as well as to promote peace and partnership among nations. The creativity, know-how, technology and financial resources from all of society are necessary to achieve the SDGs in every context.

That being said, Rotaract Beirut Cedars SDG task force (International Services and Event Planning Committees) – Lebanon D2452 had launched their first SDG Academy through an international conference. This conference hosted people from various clubs, organizations, and universities that are located in different countries all around the world. Indeed, the attendees had the opportunity and the honour to listen to the interventions of highly esteemed guest speakers that this conference had hosted; the Rotary International Director of zone 22 “Patrick Chisanga”, Past Rotary International Director of zones 33 & 34 “Peter Kyle”, District 2452 Governor “George Azar”, District Rotaract Representative “Maggie Popsoka”, Fast Forward 2030 Lebanon Chairperson and the Youth Delegate at the UN Association Lebanon “Abbas Sibai”, UN Global Compact NY Manager “Bruna Elias”, and the Community and Global Goals Activist who won the Outstanding Youth Delegate Award from the UN “Nadine El Khouli”. Their presence and engagement at this conference send a clear message that portrays their activism and advocacy for such topics, it proves their passion and commitment to global development and change; and most importantly, it stems from their identity as people of action.

In a nutshell, every year on September 25th the UN SDG Action Campaign joins forces with Action for Sustainable Development, GCP and thousands of partners to mobilize the UN, national and local governments, youth groups, civil society organizations, media platforms, and institutions from all around the world. Hence, Rotaract Beirut Cedars is joining this global task force by establishing a year-long SDG academy and had set a plan to have the SDGs as a priority and at the centre of their projects. We as the Med Times are thankful for their project submission and hope to feature more clubs and more projects regarding sustainable development in the near future.

Building on what had been previously presented, it is of utmost importance to engage as much as we can in the process of Agenda 2030 implementation and advocating for it. Stemming from the SDGs, the rotary 7 areas of focus are the trajectory that all clubs around the world adopt in their projects. Indeed, Rotary is the pioneer in youth empowerment, engagement, and representation; therefore, having youth work on global issues and create innovative resolutions for solving them is a noble action to commit to. We hope that this article serves as an inspiration for many Rotaract clubs to gain insight into the issue and work together towards a brighter future.

Written by Anhal Kozhaya

Edited by Melis Leyal Gürel

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