The United Nations list of goals for a “sustainable agenda” in human development includes many notions most of us living in the United States take for granted. All of them are important in human development, but two goals in particular stand out as being what I personally believe should be top priorities for the entire globe in improving lives everywhere.
“Putting an end to poverty in all it’s forms” is goal number one on the U.N’s list, and there’s good reason for it to be in that number one position. According to the Introduction to Geography textbook 21 percent of people in the world earn what is equivalent to $1.25 or less a day. The U.N’s development agenda implies that poverty makes one more vulnerable in “climate-related extreme events”, and severe inequality. Poverty may also limit a person’s opportunities in life, such as having a quality education and personal security. Ending poverty would create more equal liberties for all, and provide a better overall quality of life.
Goal number three, “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages”, is also of tremendous consequence in human development. We have the great advantage in the United States of having access to healthcare services with relative ease. Most hospitals and doctor offices are only short car drive away in distance, and we also have insurance to help pay for the cost of these services. Being a mother, I am especially thankful for this, as many areas in world do not have this “luxury”, and therefore tend to have a higher rate of mortality for infants, pregnant mothers, and children. With promoting well-being for all ages the U.N’s agenda includes lowering maternal death rates, as well as combating major diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. These diseases can affect anyone, anywhere, but are pandemic in certain poorer regions of the globe.
These two goals alone will be very difficult to achieve by 2030, a short 15 years from now. But I believe major steps in these two areas of ending poverty, and improving health for all can and should be made a priority. The reason they are so vital is that these two goals are a matter of equality, quality of life, and whether someone lives or dies. Everyone born on this Earth is of high and equal value, and it is a matter of human dignity that these issues need to be addressed. A person born in a more affluent and wealthy position is not more valuable than someone born in the poorest of circumstances, and working toward these goals will help in providing equal opportunity and treatment for all human-kind.
It is important that while we embrace these goals and make changes, that we work together with the environment, ensuring it is not adversely affected in the process. Resources and goods should be mined or manufactured responsibly working to conserve the finite and utilize the renewable, as well as keeping pollution at a minimum. The environment would also play a role in the way of natural disasters. For example the 2010 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti killed more than 300,000 people and left over a million homeless. (107) Natural disasters are bound to slow the progress of these goals, and even more so in poorer regions that have dwelling structures that are not built to withstand them. There are some aspects where environment would be helpful toward these goals. Renewable energy such as wind, solar, and hydro power will provide jobs as well as clean energy sources for dwellings, places of work, and hospitals.
Now we can look at how these two goals might be measured. I believe the obtainment of goal number one could be observed in the Gross National Income per capita, to look at specific regions mapped out showing levels of income. It would be important to know what percentage of individuals live at these different levels of income, and an overall human development index could also be a beneficial way of measurement. Goal number three could also be observed from the HDI and more specifically through mortality rates and causes of death from disease in specific regions. Another way to measure goal number three could be the number of healthcare facilities in any given area. A lot of the goals from the “sustainable agenda” could be measured using the HDI, and even GNI. I believe it is important that the focus is not just on numbers but is investigated further as much as possible into the individuals living their lives in any region of the globe. Many people measure quality of life much differently than we do in the “developed world” and we should take that into consideration while striving to not only measure, but achieve these “sustainable agenda” goals.
Written by Romans828 Blogger
Dahlman, Renwick. Introduction to Geography, People Places and Environment. 6th Edition.
The United Nations Sustainable Agenda (2015)