Lakshmi Kothaneth –
Almost 21 countries are in the Sultanate to discuss the best mechanisms to achieve the 17 sustainable goals of Oman. They are attending the 18th conference of Arab Administrative Development Organisation. The objective is to come up with a new roadmap to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
These goals are: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-Being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Reduced Inequality, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and Partnerships for the Goals.
The biggest partnership could be between man and environment. We are fast exhausting our resources. At the same time, we have been cutting the branches we have been sitting on as pollution proves it.
The world has to sit together to tackle climate issues as environment knows no boundaries. Maybe we ought to have been paying rent to earth for all these years.
If it was innocence in earlier, it has been more of taking advantage of the earth for a while. Now we are paying the price for it. Can it be changed? Can we go back on our track? Maybe not, but a bit of breathing space might give earth a chance to rejuvenate.
And what about human rights? If there has been inequality in the world, the 2030 sustainable goals might have the right solutions to heal the wounds.
When it comes to gender equality, Oman stands balanced with women, enjoying equal opportunities in education and career as statistics prove that 49 per cent of employees in the Civil Service are women.
Equal opportunities, however, means being respectful to competence as well. The best will secure the best of positions if the SDGs are achieved. Human rights are touched upon in many of the 17 goals whether it is about fighting poverty to provide a decent living, healthcare, education, gender equality, reducing inequality, life on land, maintaining peace and justice.
And not to forget is the fact that equality also means inclusiveness of everyone in society irrespective of their abilities/ disabilities. Lost are many opportunities and many years, but maybe it is time to catch up and make the due changes. That would mean accessibility to all buildings for a person in a wheelchair.
Because the individuals are ready, just like the 30 travellers with special needs from Qatar who arrived at the Oman Sail in Al Mouj on a wooden dhow.
It is time to prove that challenges are meant to be overcome. But the goals might have challenges that might be difficult to comprehend by mankind as in the case of climate change.
There is one important goal out of the 17 that is solely a responsibility of mankind — peace and justice. Peace, along with justice, are the prerequisites for almost all of the other goals.
As some nations and races of mankind struggle to survive without food or peace, the 17 goals seem like a dream. While governments work hard to realise this dream, it is also the individual responsibility to do the needful because we have a major role in being part of the problem as well. So it is time to switch ourselves to being part of the solution by consuming less, being peaceful in thoughts, words and actions, respecting nature and accepting others. Most importantly, practise the best attitude — respect.