This month, from February 2nd to 8th, we are marking the 30th Anniversary of International Development Week . And for me the Go for the Goals theme is so much more than a catch phrase. It is a call to action.
TOGETHER WE ARE BUILDING A BRAVE NEW WORLD
No more finger wagging and admonishment of developing countries. The Sustainable Development Goals hold up a mirror to all countries to examine their role, resources and commitments to meeting these global challenges. Reflective of people’s most basic rights and society’s most basic responsibilities, the goals present a game-changing opportunity to transform the lives of the most vulnerable and instill a permanent new era of cooperation between countries in the north and those in the south that embraces the leadership, contribution and potential of all people by 2030.
JOIN A DIFFERENT TYPE OF 10 YEAR CHALLENGE
At Crossroads I have seen firsthand the power of naming the issue, getting diverse perspectives in the room and setting a common goal. People working together make change happen. The UN has declared the 2020s a decade of action to deliver on the global goals. Yes there is concrete progress – from reducing child mortality to expanding education, from improving access to family planning to increasing access to the internet, but it is not enough. On present course, half a billion people will still be living in extreme poverty by 2030. To close the gender gap in economic participation would take more than 250 years. This week citizens and organizations across the country are asking Canadians to Go for it, Go for the Goals. Crossroads and its volunteers are making this effort, and with your support, we are well positioned to contribute even more. Leveraging the talents and competencies of individuals, organizations and businesses, while working with local governments and institutions Crossroads is working to build an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future where no one is left behind.
No marketing slogan here: the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are comprehensive – including ending poverty; gender equality; climate action; decent work; peace, access to justice, and stronger institutions – and practical, with 169 specific targets and more than 230 measurable indicators through which we can mark our progress.
Yes, the UN Sustainable Development Goals are aspirational, and they are attainable. Canadian volunteers and other global citizens are engaged, at home and abroad, to reach these objectives. This is the message we want Canadians to hear. It is a message of hope and possibility, and at this time, it is urgent. Join us. We have 10 years. It’s time to Go for the Goals.
P.S. If you are in Montreal or Toronto this week, why not learn more? Join Crossroads and our fellow development organizations at International Development Week events, more information is available here: https://cintl.org/news/events/.