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Nonfiction in response to Partnerships for the Goals
May 2019

Collective Action on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

By ­Amrita Bhasin

According to World Economic Forum, Sweden, Denmark and Norway are the countries that have made the most progress on achieving the Sustainable Development goals, and Sweden is “84.5% of the way to achieving the targets envisaged for 2030.” Columbia University says that there have been some breakthroughs from countries lower on the list as well; “Sierra Leone mainstreamed all the SDGs into its national budget and integrated lessons learned from recent shocks, including the Ebola crisis.”

Something we must also take into account is that many of the global problems are seen in developed as well as developing nations. For example, gender equality is something that the U.S. is grappling with in economic and social ways. Columbia University reports that in Somalia, “gender gaps in the labor market cost as much as $95 billion per year between 2010 and 2014.” A hundred years after women in America won the right to vote, there is much progress to be made in regards to rights for women, even in our local communities when we look at wage gaps.

65 million people are “estimated to be forcibly displaced (a higher number than at the end of World War II)” due to war and other regional and national conflicts.

The sustainable development goals are indeed ambitious and may not seem connected to each other at first look. However, achieving one goal will make it easier to reach the others because “a country’s ability to combat hunger is directly linked to the state of its infrastructure, land tenure, public health system, income levels, and capacity to manage natural resources and mitigate disasters” (Columbia University). Thus, collective action is needed if countries wish to achieve the goals.

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