The United Nations catches alot of flack form the international community, especially from politically active citizens and elected officials around the world.
And yet, The UN Development Programme might be the only agency keeping their eye on the ball when it comes to the future of the human race and our presence here on Earth.
Believe it or not, our polar ice caps are melting more every year, species are going extinct at an alarming rate, agriculture and population growth are fueling deforestation, the Great Pacific garbage patch continues to grow, 748 million people lack access to clean drinking water, malaria still ravages much of the developing world, and the list goes on.
It would be easy to get discouraged by all of this, especially if you’re only learning about it for the first time. Thankfully, there is at least a crew of nations taking this stuff seriously. And in 2000, they got together to set eight high level goals to start tackling the biggest issues at hand:
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Achieve universal primary education
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce child mortality
- Improve maternal health
- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
- Ensure environmental sustainability
- Develop a global partnership for development
These might seem pie in the sky, but the reality is this: if you’re looking to do work that matters and you don’t know what that means to you… then these eight high level goals might be the best place to start learning about the most important issues of our time.
You probably won’t fix the problem in your lifetime, but you might move the needle. And if we move the needle enough, we might start to see some encouraging change.
The Millenium Development Goals were targets to be reached by 2015. The UN is getting back together in September 2015 to set a new set of Sustainable Development Goals to set the global agenda for the next 15 years. We’ll talk about that tomorrow.