The COVID-19 has created a momentum of transformation in our societies. Indeed, it exposed the crack in our system. Inequality, unemployment, and poverty are a few sectors that arise problematic due to coronavirus. We knew too well about this long-standing fragility. Unfortunately, we were not bold enough to declare “enough is enough” and then take actions on it until COVID-19 took a toll and becomes a wake-up call to us all.
On the flip side, COVID-19 also brings to light the good virtues of societies. It amplifies our humanities to stand together against adversities and unite despite all diversities. On top of that, it also shows us that a radical transformation in our societies is more than possible. Ultimately, transformation becomes today’s global urgency that our front leaders declare as the New Normal. The question now becomes what kind of transformation that we should pledge for?
Complex, high adaptability, and multi-sector approaches are some terms that I use to define the world. As a result, the transformation which we should be looking up for is the one that allows all countries marching towards one same direction. Wherein this direction also allows each country to make an adaptation in its implementation according to their own capacities.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the New Normal
Today’s world with its multifaceted innovations does not respond well to global issues. One issue in unemployment might end with a brilliant business strategy that entails another issue in environment due to unsustainable practices. Ultimately, we need a radical transformation in understanding the world now and how we want to project it in the future. Instead of responding to the world’s issues by promoting a novel technology or enacting a new policy which both of them (merely) means to tap on the surface of the world’s problem (curative approach), it would be more beneficial in the long run if we start taking care of the root cause more seriously before another emergency situation forces us. This shall be implemented by shifting our mindset by raising guidance questions as below.
Do we really need a space project to look for a new planet while on the other hand, the fund shall be more helpful in tackling poverty in our societies? Yes, we need to accelerate the penetration of renewable energy into our communities. However, is it really an urgency while at the same time the death due to malnourishment is skyrocketing in many countries?
Understanding this, I believe that the new normal that we should be looking up to is the one that promotes sustainable growth that is adaptable to each society. Meaning it meets each country’s unique priorities without giving up on the long-term goals that become a global agenda.
As a result, on 25 September 2015, the world’s leaders have come to one term as an answer to complicated issues of our ever-changing world. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were born on that day as a key milestone to kick off a better world for today’s generations and more to come in the future. SDGs is called ambitious for a reason since the established goals aim to tackle all crises in this world by 2030.
Since SDGs are country-led and driven. Therefore, the specific objective and implementation are indeed uniquely suitable for each country. For instance, Indonesia pledges to reduce emissions by 29% independently and 41% with international support by 2030. On the other hand, the Netherlands raises its emission-cut target for 2030 from 40% to 55% with the baseline year of 1990.
Ultimately, Indonesia and the Netherlands are having the same goal in emission reduction, but they have a different target as a result of adaption towards the unique capacities and priorities of both countries respectively. By providing broad resources, strategies and partners to help each country adopting the global agenda to meet their national priorities and local capacities, SDGs become a win-win solution for all.
Societies of the New Normal: a Global Hub of Inclusive Partnership
Understanding the spirit of SDGs “leaving no one behind”, Societies should grab this opportunity to reshape and modify how the world should progress now and be projected in the future. Wherein it is always our genuine dream to put an end to any inequalities drawn by gender, religion, or nationalities. The keyword here SDGs should be seen as a momentum for societies to stand up together, defining the epitome of inclusive partnerships.
Easier said than done, it takes courage and a broad set of skills in order to establish an inclusive partnership. Therefore, the world’s leaders shall become a role model for all organizations and groups of societies on how to establish an inclusive partnership effectively. This is what SDGs are trying to tap into, by promoting its spirit of leaving no one behind, inclusive partnership, and country-driven, leading to the New Normal for the global societies.