One must know what the problem is before choosing a treatment. The concept of Sustainable Development is based on the socioeconomic development in accordance with ecological constraints. Sustainability has three pivotal pillars viz. Environmental Sustainability, Social Sustainability and Economic Sustainability. The synergic approach of these pillars in a balanced manner is the mantra of Sustainable Development. In order to reach the apogee of sustainability, all the pivotal pillars of sustainability have to be in a mutual balance. The balance between individual pillars isn’t easy to achieve, because in the process of achieving its goal, each pillar must respect the interests of other pillars in order not to cause imbalance.
The current global context of slow economic growth, social inequality and environmental degradation are creating unprecedented challenges for the international community.
You know the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) were first adopted but after its adoption, there was a transition from MDGs to SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and the SDGs are also known as the global goals which were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
The 17 SDGs are: i) No poverty, ii) Zero Hunger, iii) Good Health and Well- being, iv) Quality Education, v) Gender Equality, vi) Clean Water and Sanitation, vii) Affordable and Clean Energy, viii) Decent Work and Economic Growth, ix) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, x) Reducing Inequality, xi) Sustainable Cities and Communities, xii) Responsible Consumption and Production, xiii) Climate Action, xiv) Life Below Water, xv) Life on Land, xvi) Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and xvii) Partnerships for the Goals.
A number of challenges have emerged just because of the imbalance in the pillars of peace or the imbalance in the pillars of sustainability. You know, peace can’t be achieved without bringing the pieces together likewise that sustainability can’t be achieved without a synergic mutually balanced approach. Unfortunately, Inequality has deepened, environmental degradation has increased, migration challenges and unemployment for youth have grown, conflicts and political instability have halted or reversed progress in many countries, organised crime including trafficking in people, and human rights violation undermines development.
People across the world are demanding more responsive governments, better governance, and rights at all levels. At the same time, the world has changed radically since the turn of the millennium. New economic powers have emerged, new technologies are shaping our societies, and new patterns of human settlement and activity are heightening the pressures on our planet.
Good health and well-being for all demand a balanced diet and stress-free life but unfortunately, the rate of malnutrition and stress is at its apogee. Clean water and sanitation for all are bleeding for the safest approaches to overcome pollution but anthropogenic activities, point sources and non-point sources of pollution are swelling and contaminating the water sources at an alarming rate. Quality in Education for all is crying for equitable approaches but maleducation has filled the void. The very future of the nations depends upon the innovations and discoveries made by the scientists but unfortunately, the seeds of new biological warfare agents are growing like a bat out of hell.
A new era demands a new vision and a responsive framework and in this context, India has assumed the Presidency of G-20 and get to grips with the G-20 forum. G-20 is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 individual countries and the European Union. It was established in 1999. G-20 is a forum, not a legislative body, its agreements and decisions have no legal impact, but they do influence countries’ policies and global cooperation. G-20 members represent around 80% of the global GDP, over 75% of global trade, and 60% of the world’s population. Moreover, G-20 members contribute 79% of the world’s carbon emissions and hence this platform assumes significance in shaping the discussion on climate change.
The theme of India’s presidency is ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (One Earth, One Family, One Future) which underscores global interconnectedness and reflects India’s pro-planet approach. India’s G20 presidency will face a two-fold challenge: first, the world economy is going to worsen considerably in 2023; and second, geopolitical frictions and diverging interests will make finding agreements more and more difficult not only in the areas of energy and climate policy but also on finance and trade affairs. Hope India’s G20 Presidency shall open new vistas of sustainable development for the betterment of mankind!
The authors are faculty members of PG Department of Zoology ICSC Srinagar