On Agenda 2030, Trudeau tells UN panel that global challenges are not caused by 'one person in one government somewhere'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cavalierly told the United Nations that COVID 'showed us what we're capable of' in achieving Agenda 2030 and adopting international Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

On Agenda 2030, Trudeau tells UN panel that global challenges are not caused by 'one person in one government somewhere'
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"We are all so interconnected. The only way for us and our families to succeed is to ensure people on the other side of the world have the opportunities to succeed." said Trudeau, lauding the SDGs as a 'roadmap' to "create a successful planet."

They consist of seventeen objectives for member nations to adopt by 2030, including climate action, healthcare and other initiatives. 

"The SDGs are an ambitious perspective of what the world should and can be — wanting to see your kids do better than you do," claimed Trudeau, Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General's SDG Advocates. 

"What we've seen is the challenges we face as a world isn't because ‘one person in one government somewhere’ decided to flip a switch. It is the cumulation of the billions of actions we take daily to either make the world slightly better or slightly worse."

The latest SDG progress report claims UN members have only achieved 12% of its targets, with over 30% of the SDGs stalled or far from completion.

The COVID pandemic wiped out more than four years of progress on poverty eradication and pushed 93 million more people into extreme poverty in 2020, according to the 2022 SDG progress report

"[The pandemic] disrupted essential health services [resulting] in a drop in immunization coverage for the first time in a decade and a rise in deaths from tuberculosis and malaria," read the report.

It also said developing countries are battling record inflation, rising interest rates and looming debt burdens, with many struggling to recover from the pandemic.

According to the 2023 Financing for Sustainable Development Report, 52 low- and middle-income developing economies are either in debt distress or at high risk of debt distress, accounting for more than 40% of the world's poorest people.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) states poorer countries like Barbados face significant risks from climate change, citing "more frequent and intense" hurricanes, rising sea levels, and coastal erosion.

"Unless we act now, the 2030 Agenda will become an epitaph for a world that might have been," wrote UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"We're down at halftime," admitted Trudeau, who remains "incredibly optimistic."

"Yes, we had a pandemic and global circumstances that slowed down the progress we would have liked to have made, but it also showed us what we're capable of," he claimed.

"The way we've come together to counter the food crisis caused by Russia's illegal invasion, and the way we worked on vaccines and getting them out around the world through the pandemic and supporting people showed us what we're capable of." 

Last December, Ottawa claimed it donated 50 million COVID vaccine doses during the pandemic, but only 15.3 million went overseas. They also aided developing countries in paying for 90 million more doses.

International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan remained optimistic at the time in Canada finding takers for their vaccine oversupply, despite ongoing challenges for developing nations to vaccinate their populations.

"One of the things that we're focused on now is reinforcing the health systems within those nations. So if a pandemic were to come back, we would be able to distribute vaccines equitably," he said.

Trudeau stressed, "If we don't [meet the SDG targets], nobody succeeds."

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