UN Agenda 2030 will not end hunger

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Revista Autogestión 151 “Hunger is a political crime”

Editorial

In 2015 the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) came to an end. After the unmitigated failure to achieve them, in September of the same year, world leaders decided to approve a new agenda made up of 17 goals, 169 targets, and 232 indicators: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since then, there has been no proposal from the UN and its agencies, political parties, philanthropic organizations, NGOs, associations of all kinds… that has not taken up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Undoubtedly, the Agenda incorporates proposals; and goals, that anyone would sign up to without any hesitation: ending poverty, ending hunger, guaranteeing health… even if it is for 2030. It is even surprising that people and groups as disparate, with such different ideas and interests as left-wing and right-wing political parties, businessmen from all sectors, trade unions, multinationals, environmental groups, schools, universities, NGOs, local and regional administrations, foundations, the media, scientists… of any sign, of any ideology… all share and support the SDGs.

A great achievement, no doubt. We might even think that it is a sign of hope: this time it is.

However, it is worth pausing for a moment. If the less numerous and less demanding MDGs (8 goals and 28 targets) were not achieved, are they not too many goals this time around?

For example: 1.- Objective one: “Put an end to poverty in all its forms throughout the world”, do we believe it? Do the decisions taken every day make us optimistic? Are the economic policies going in that direction?

With so much idealism; with a society that is comfortable and lulled to sleep, we run the risk of forgetting what is really important, of not knowing how to look at and differentiate between what is fundamental, what is most urgent, thus losing focus on the proposed solutions. The SDGs seem more like a declaration of intent to soothe consciences. A text that is approved and kept in the memory, without any obligation to comply with it or sanctions if it is not complied with, which makes us feel that we are on the right path, despite being aware of its uselessness due to its impossibility.

The solutions that are imposed seem more like the wishes and needs, the objectives of the donor countries, than the priorities of the impoverished countries that suffer the consequences of our way of life. Solutions to the liking of those who finance them. He who pays the piper calls the tune… and sets the conditions for aid.

Thousands of companies from all sectors, which profit from the hunger, plunder, and misery of the majority of humanity, have expressed their support for the SDGs. How many political, economic, social, legislative,  and adjustment demands are being imposed on these countries to free up economic resources for them? The economic model is not being questioned, nor is the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, the unscrupulous exploitation of their available resources is not being renounced, and there is no limit to theft, environmental degradation, tax abuses, capital evasion, trade laws,…

And going one step further. The universal acceptance of the SDGs has been yet another example of ideological colonization. It is said that their fundamental objective was to put people at the center of development, leaving no one behind. However, they were approved by lowering targets and without listening to the demands for changes in the countries of the rich North: the disappearance of tax havens, the creation of safe routes for migrants and refugees, the fight against the exploitation and plundering of natural resources by multinationals and countries of the North, control over economic transactions, respect for human rights, the eradication of child slavery, compliance with labor and environmental legislation,…

So no, it is not true. Neither the UN nor the SDGs aim to end hunger and misery for the majority of humanity. Although there are sufficient resources to achieve this, there is no political will. The agreements that have been adopted are nothing more than a declaration of intent to mask the real objectives: to increase economic profits at the expense of the exploitation and plunder of impoverished countries.