United Nations’ Global Goals fight social, environmental issues

Alex Ladan, columnist

The poorest half of the world’s population has the same amount of combined wealth as the 62 richest people on the planet according to WE Organization. It would only cost $66 billion to end extreme poverty for one year. That’s easily less than American’s spent on the lottery in 2014 which was $70 billion.

It’s scary when things are put into perspective. In the world we live in today, families become trapped in poverty because they can’t scrape together enough money to pay for basic necessities such as food, clean water, clothing and a place to live.

Every day I wake up and remember how thankful I am to have these basic items. They are so deeply implemented in my life that I often forget that I heavily rely on them. Many families living around the world struggle each day, wondering when they’ll find their next meal. They wonder when their sicknesses will stop or when they’ll be able to afford to keep a roof over their heads.

Life doesn’t need to be this way. All over the world, whether in poorer nations or in developed countries, people are trying to develop ways to build a better, more sustainable life.

One Thursday after school, I was on the bus with my friend headed to Evanston Outreach; one of my first Key Club events. This soup kitchen event consisted of cooking, laughing and sitting with homeless people for dinner. This one event changed my life forever. It made me realize that everyone has a story.

Just over a year ago in 2015, the United Nations met together to discuss seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (also known as Global Goals). The Global Goals plan to build on the previous Millennium Development Goals proposed by the UN, aimed to be achieved by 2030.

These goals are the only way to ending all forms of poverty, fighting inequalities and tackling climate change. Uniquely, the new goals are a call to action for all countries in addition to third world countries.

It is important to note that world’s problems are urgent. By following these goals, we will improve our planet and the people living on them. Hundreds of world leaders signed onto the Global Goals to focus on every aspect of human life for the next 15 years.

These goals are exactly what we need. I think that by encompassing essentially every country under this umbrella, we can make a legitimate difference in the world. And by we, I mean the next generation.

The creators of these goals aimed to focus more on the youth and getting them involved. Kids can learn about various world problems while learning about the world leaders who support the goals.

By educating kids from a young age that constantly improving our world is important, we can inspire them to be the change. And that is exactly what happened to me.

Being a part of the youth, the change means so much to me. I have the power to change others. At South, I am constantly thrown opportunities to voice my opinion.

There are more children in this generation than there ever have been. The youth is technologically advanced, making them uniquely equipped to solve the world’s most pressing issues.

Organizations such as Youth Service America (YSA) and countless other nonprofits and businesses are focusing on making the Global Goals famous. The Global Goals are so important because the creators have compiled resources specifically for adolescents to “Get the Goals Known” (Global Goals). In bright colored squares, the Global Goals are visually appealing – serving as a great eye catcher when scrolling through Instagram.

So I encourage you all to not only work towards making the world’s new Global Goals some of the most successful yet, but to inspire others and find your passion. As part of the youth, I can reassure you that together, we can work together to combat each and every global issue that is thrown at us.