By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN | 31 December 2023 (IDN) — The New Year marks our 15th anniversary. Since going online in 2009, we have devoted ourselves to in-depth news and analysis of issues that impact the world, particularly the countries of the Global South.
Our focus has been on promoting the bold and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in 2015 by world leaders at the United Nations. The agenda calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the next 15 years.
The SDGs are “our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world’s leaders and the people,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success.”
All indications are that the 17 SDGs would not be accomplished by 2030. Ban’s successor, António Guterres, characterised 2023 as “a year of enormous suffering, violence, and climate chaos”. In his video message for News Year 2024, the UN chief reflected on the pain and suffering afflicting humanity.
People are getting crushed by growing poverty and hunger; wars are growing in number and ferocity, noted the Secretary-General. “And trust is in short supply.”
Conflicts persist, claiming tens of thousands of civilian lives, many of them women and children. Millions have been driven from their homes, facing hunger and disease. At the same time, “the planet is in peril”, marked by record-breaking temperatures and worsening impacts of climate change, Mr. Guterres said.
“Humanity is strongest when we stand together. 2024 must be a year for rebuilding trust and restoring hope,” stressed Mr. Guterres in his message.
“Let’s resolve to make 2024 a year of building trust and hope in all that we can accomplish together,” he urged, concluding with warm wishes for a happy and peaceful New Year.
We will continue to contribute our share to fostering sustainable development, peace, and security—which in turn are possible only if arms control agreements are put back in place and trillions of dollars are spent on the maintenance and modernization of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction are not spent on nuclear deterrence. [IDN-InDepthNews]
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