[SOLUTION] Sustainable Development Goals

1. Are any of the 17goals from the UN website particularly unrealistic—describe, in detail, why you think so (or not).

Of all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that the United Nations proposed I believe that Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals1 stand out. Goal 17 seems to be the most unrealistic goal for the moment, from developed countries financing developing countries to technology sharing and universal trading. These are all amazing concepts that should be implemented, unfortunately the world’s current state national “pride” and distrust dissuades countries from implementing such policies with precedents of such in the past. Even today the super powers and developed countries fight over trade and allocation of resources, with some threatening escalation of force. This all leads into the goal that I think should have the highest priority placed on it, which can be seen below.

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2. Which of the 17 goals do you believe is the highest priority for the world and why? Cite specific examples from class content, discussions and assessments.

Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions2 should receive the highest priority, seeing that it is the foundation for human rights. Strengthening my decision is the inclusion of public access to information, preventing censorship of world news and misleading the people of that country. The terminology is vague but I also take that the public access to information also incompasses history. History has extreme importance seeing that it allows the population to see the mistakes of the past and guide them to avoid such. With goal 16 including broadening and strengthening support of developing countries I believe that basic human rights and access to information can be achieved. Along with Goal 16’s hard stance against corruption it should be the highest priority of all nations to implement, it is the foundation on which a global community can be built from.

“There is nothing which can better deserve your patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is, in every country, the surest basis of public happiness. In one, in which the measures of government receive their impressions so immediately from the sense of the community as in ours, it is proportionably essential”. President George Washington3

1. UN. (2020). Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

2. UN. (2020). Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

3. George Washington,(1836) Published by: Congressional Globe Office


1. Are any of the 17 goals from the UN website particularly unrealistic—describe, in detail, why you think so (or not).

It is now 2020, and we only have ten years to accomplish something meaningful in each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I believe several of the goals are unrealistic, but I believe they are written that way as goals or benchmarks to strive for. The main reasons why I believe several of the goals are unrealistic are a lack of cooperation between all nations, an extremely limited time frame to holistically tackle some of these issues, and to achieve some of these goals, much of the world must drastically change the lives that they are accustomed to.

This month, the United Nations is currently holding a high-level political forum (HLPF) on sustainable development that started on 7 July and is expected to last till 16 July. The HLPF meets annually in support of the Economic and Social Council and is the “main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level” (UN, 2020). It was reported that only 47 nations will present voluntary national reviews (VNRs) to report their progress and implementations to reach the 2030 SDGs (UN, 2020). Of those 47 countries, there was only one country (Russia) that ranked within the US News and World Report’s Top 10 World’s Most Powerful Countries (2020) (UN, 2020). The number one ranked, United States has yet to report a VNR and the number three ranked, China has only presented a VNR once back in 2016. It is hard to coordinate a global effort if the world’s leading governments cannot consistently report their progress in accomplishing the 2030 SDGs.

Some of these lofty goals will take decades to achieve. For example, to ensure all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary education will take more than 10 years to accomplish. Even here in the United States, many do not have access to free, robust education. According to the American Public Health Association (APHA), more than 60% of 4-year-olds in the United States did not have access to free or publicly funded preschool programs (APHA, 2017). One solution to this problem would be to build more publicly funded daycares and/or preschools and provide more incentives to preschool teachers and caregivers. Training a workforce to meet this goal can take longer than a decade to complete and that is not mentioning the need for the government to sanction the funding needed to create more daycares and/or preschools.

Lastly, most people do not like drastic changes and to accomplish some of these goals, whole countries must take action collectively. In particular, one of Goal 6’s target is to allow all people to have access to safe and affordable drinking water. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 785 million do not have access to drinking water, at least 2 billion people drink from a water source contaminated with feces, and it is estimated by 2025, half of the world will be living in water-stressed areas (2019). A change of lifestyle would help create more drinking water through water conservation methods. California’s Department of Water Resources states that 80% of all water used in California is used for agricultural. Rightfully so, since the sector brings in over $20 billion (2020). Small changes in the shift of California’s economy can spread more of their water budget to people in need within the state. It is essentially a choice between health or wealth. It is a hard decision to make especially for those who depend on these services as their livelihood. Many of the SDG targets involve tough decisions that must be implemented to make meaningful change.

Which of the 17 goals do you believe is the highest priority for the world and why? Cite specific examples from class content, discussions and assessments.

I believe many of the SDGs are interconnected and achieving one goal will either accomplish another goal or make it easier to accomplish another one. First of all, I believe that achieving all of these goals will make the world a better place and provide equality for all. As strongly as I believe against inequality and the many disadvantages too many people face every day, I would say the highest priority would be Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. I believe this is the most critical to enforce today because this will help us make the necessary changes to save the planet and its resources. Week 2 we discussed population growth and the challenges we face because of our ever-growing global population. If we learn to become truly sustainable, we can lower our environmental impact to zero and it would not matter what the population size became because we would all be living on Earth through sustainable means. In Week 3 we talked about the effects of climate change on our own health. I brought up that there are populations of concern or those that face social inequalities and how they will face more of a negative impact from the effects of climate change than more well-off populations. If we learn to be sustainable in terms of our consumption and production, we can tackle problems like climate justice and provide more means to those in need. Goal 12 touches all the natural resources that we have covered so far. Our carbon, water, and ecological footprints would be addressed because we would be more self-aware of our production and consumption to achieve sustainability.


APHA. (2017). Public Health and Early Childhood Education: Support for Universal Preschool in the United States.

California Department of Water Resources. (2020). Agricultural Water Use Efficiency.

UN. (2020). High-Level Political Forum 2020 (HLPF 2020). Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.

UN. (2020). High-level Political Forum: Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.

UN. (2020). Voluntary National Reviews: Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.

USNEWS. (2020). Power.

WHO. (2019). Drinking-water.

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