In the 15 years running to 2015, the global development agenda was guided by as set of goals compiled by the UN which were dabbed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, as the 15 years come to a close a new set of goals to guide the global development agenda are being put in place by the UN. These have been named as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In our Kenyan context, the MDGs involved 8 main goals including; elimination of extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; gender equality and women empowerment; reduce child mortality; improvement of maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability and to develop global partnerships for development. To what extent we have been able to achieve them, I will allow you to be the judge.
As we move to SDGs era, the global development agenda will now be focused on three basic pillars as outlined by the UN council on sustainable development. These include: economic development; social development and environmental development. One may ask, why the three pillars?
Well this is why:
The UN council on development realized that when economically empowering individuals, global economies have been resulting to environmental degradation and disintegration of the social fabric in our society. These two then pose a very serious threat to the existence of our future generations as societal cohesion dies and depletion of economic resources in our environments continues to deepen.
In a bid to save our generation and the future generations to come, the council found it wise to come up with the sustainable development goals which will focus every nation towards that similar objective.
According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
It contains within it two key concepts:
• The concept of need, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
• The idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.
As we all now shift focus to SDGs, our main development agenda as Kenyans should therefore be how to economically, socially and environmentally empower our generation and the future generations to come; not the daily mediocre political bickering we are experiencing currently.