This year marked the 10th annual 2019 Global Citizen Festival, held on Saturday, Sep. 28th at Central Park’s Great Lawn, offering a platform and calling on people from around the world to take responsibility and commit to achieving the UN’s SDG’s. With a line up of back to back celebrities, actor, philanthropist, Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborrah-lee Furness, returned to host the event. The audiencr danced and sang to the great performances by; Queen & Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Carol King, Pharrell Williams, One Republic, H.E.R., and many other guest artists.
An array of stars co-hosted including; Leonardo Dicaprio, Natali Portman, Rami Malek, Forest Whitiker, Dakota Johnson, and Aasif Mandvi, to name a few, who came on stage to support Global Citizen’s mission to eradicate poverty and hunger, and to put pressure on governments, businesses, philanthropists, and citizens to take responsibility and commit to empowering women, improving the quality of health care, education, and nutrition, make efforts to combat poverty, plastic pollution and climate change.
Global Citizen’s timely concert was held the week of the United Nation’s General Assembly, and is aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The Global Citizen movement has been campaigning for a better world for 10 years, and joins the effort to achieve the UN’s Global Goals by 2030, through this platform.
The Global Citizen’s movement was founded by Hugh Evans, and is making an impact towards holding citizens of the world responsible for taking action towards improving our world. Global Citizen has secured over 38 Billion over the past 8 years from companies, foundations and governments towards the commitment of the United Nations Global Goals.
The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030. The SDGs are part of Resolution 70/1 of the United Nations General Assembly.
The 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to transform our world:
GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
GOAL 13: Climate Action
GOAL 14: Life Below Water
GOAL 15: Life on Land
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Is the world on the path to achieving these goals? No one questions that to change things towards a greater good, will need an adaptation of strategies that support attainable goals, most entail long term strategies that will address the needs of the society and the environment. All Goals are imperative, however the ones directly affecting human’s basic needs; such as clean water and air, hunger, shelter, education, safety, health care, and eradication of all inequalities are at the top of the list.
It is important to address social responsibility, environmental ethics and integrity through public concern and engagement. Climate Change and global warming is become more apparent by the minute, and the future of our planet and humanity in unequivocally a priority for all the world to turn their attention to. How easy will it be to transition out of fossil fuel and other traditional energy sources doing harm to our planet? Hold Food manufacturing methods accountable for sustainable methods and healthier productions? A difficult but most necessary world effort to offer resolutions, apply regulations, and incentivize the companies that have been providing these resources to the world, to find new innovative, environmental sustainable forms, is the challenge the world is still facing.
So where are we on these fronts, how is progress going? Although the goals were set in 2015, will they be reached by 2030? Tracking Progress is available for citizens on the world data base https://sdg-tracker.org/.
On the forefront of the Goals, most notable is that global hunger and undernourishment is down, yet 800 billion are still are hungry, the majority in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Haiti. The majority of countries today have average levels below 20 percent, with the highest common across Sub-Saharan Africa (reaching up to 62% in the Central African Republic). Also worth mentioning is that agriculture has become the cornerstone of employment and labor.
International poverty markers were revised in 2015 and state that the international poverty line is low with a benchmark of people living under $1.90 daily. According to https://sdg-tracker.org/, poverty is a concept linked to welfare, and for the entry it is based on consumption and income, an approach used by the World Bank. The long run evidence shows that the share of [people living in poverty has decreased in the last two centuries, linked to this is improvement in material living conditions, global health care and expansion and access of global education. However, growth of world population in the last century has caused the number of extremely poor people in the world to increase. The World Bank projects that if economic growth continues, the number of people in extreme poverty will stagnate at almost 500 million. In more than half the countries of the world, the share of the population in extreme poverty is now less than 3 %. The number of people in extreme poverty has fallen from nearly 1.9 billion in 1990 to about 650 million in 2018. This was possible because economic growth reached more parts of the world. https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-poverty
Renewable energy sources have always been historically dominated by the traditional fossil fuels and other biofuels. However, although they still remain the leader in energy, moderate renewables such as hydropower, are beginning to dominate, accounting for one quarter of renewable consumptions. Other renewable energy sources include solar, wind, geothermal and modern forms of waste-to –biomass conversion, all under modern renewable energy, collectively producing 5.9 TWh (terawatt-hours) globally, a 5-6 fold increase since the 1960’s.
As the world has been expanding and advancing at the speed of light with technology, we also really need to sit back and think about our role as humans in our world. As the Global Citizen movement, and many other like minded organizations are inspiring us and asking us to wake up and be accountable in helping our environment and our community, we must do our best to promote human values and hold our governments and companies accountable for healthier sustainable practices and the protection of basic human rights.