A sustainable future for all, with day-to-day global challenges, such as poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a series of measures to end poverty, protect the planet and guarantee the global well-being of people. One of the greatest achievements in sustainability has been the approval of the 2030 agenda of the United Nations and with it these objectives as a master plan for the future of our planet. They show an integral, interconnected, indivisible look and a renewed international collaboration. Together, they build a vision of the future that we all want.

 

The Emergence of a Great Idea

Just a few decades ago, the world was a very different place where economic growth prevailed over everything else. So much so that people and nature were relegated to the background. Development and progress became the destruction of life.

Industrialization, pollution and the burning of fossil fuels were the engine of economic activity. The consequences were not long in manifesting themselves on the planet: greater emission of greenhouse gases, progressive increase in temperatures, melting of the poles, etc. We were transforming the world and not precisely to improve it.

Luckily, in the 1980s, science brings to the table the necessary evidence and data to open the eyes of humanity. The current concept of sustainability appears for the first time in the Brundtland Report of 1987 and alerts for the first time of the terrible environmental consequences of economic development and globalization. But it not only underlines the problems, but also offers solutions to industrialization or population growth.

The publication of the Brundtland report was only the first step. Humanity realized that it faced many challenges to ensure that all people have the same opportunities for development and well-being. In the year of 2000, the United Nations adopted eight goals to meet the main needs of the poorest, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The MDGs have been fundamental, for example, in getting 51 million more children into school, drastically reducing deaths from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and have also been part of a historically dramatic drop in child mortality. Poverty, measured by living on less than $1.25 a day, was cut in half.

 

From the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals

While the MDGs were aimed at the poorest countries, the new SDGs are designed to be universal. This is a monumental shift in thinking about sustainable development, in which rich nations support the development of poorer nations, to avoid destabilizing important parts of the Earth's life support system. The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and perspective of people everywhere.

World leaders met in New York to agree that the SDGs are successors to the MDGs. The idea came from the Rio+20 Summit in 2012, the largest summit in UN history. Colombia and Guatemala proposed goals to follow up on the MDGs, established in 2000.

It was shown that setting goals works in a complex world, organizations and countries can align their agendas and prioritize funding to meet these goals.

 

An Universal Agreement

The new goals are the result of a three-year process involving 83 national surveys and more than 7 million people, making it the largest consultation in UN history.

The nations eventually agreed on a list of 17 goals. This agenda is an action plan for people, the planet and prosperity. From governance experts to climate researchers to the academic community are very supportive of the goals.

Not everyone agrees. The Lancet described the targets as "fairy tales, dressed in the bureaucracy of intergovernmental narcissism, adorned in the robes of multilateral paralysis, and poisoned by the acid of nation-state failure." This may be true, but it ignores the fact that the goals have been heavily negotiated, having broad legitimacy among all parties.

 

Why are the SDGs Important?

The breadth and depth of the proposed SDGs is unprecedented. The new agenda aims to leave no one behind and promote the social inclusion of the most vulnerable groups. At the same time, it sets the environmental limits and critical natural thresholds for the use of natural resources.

The final document Transforming our World: The 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development States in its preamble: “This agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity”, and affirms “the interlinkages and integrated nature of the SDGs are of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of the new Agenda is realized”.

 

Which Country is most Likely to Complete the Goals First?

According to a recent study by Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation, the countries best positioned to achieve the new UN goals are the four Scandinavian nations: Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, with Switzerland in fifth place. The lowest ranked nations are the US, Greece, Chile, Hungary, Turkey and Mexico.

 

A Commitment that must be Regularly Reminded

A key challenge is how to engage the public in support of a complex agenda. The concern now is how to get people interested in the SDGs. If no one notices them, they won't attract the attention they need to build momentum. This is a very real problem because they have been largely ignored by the media to date.

As with all intergovernmental agreements, success will be due to political support and governments implementing it. Here, a key role for stakeholders will be to continually remind governments of their commitments. These governments will change in the next ten years in many countries and successive governments must be educated and reminded of these commitments.

 

Con Corazón Lined with the SDGs

We've seen how, with passion and dedication, the world's serious problems can be tackled head-on, and we've seen that most people in the world really, passionately want that to happen.

When the morning news fills you with fear and nervousness, when people are working against each other, when we see things falling apart, it is so crucial that we all work together. We believe that long days and nights were needed to reach an agreement and promote the fulfillment of these objectives. Although it is much more comfortable for everyone to be at home in pajamas.

Governments have made a serious decision to make the new goals not just a sequel, but to turn them into a more mature set of goals, trying to address the complex nature of poverty. This is an extremely profound and admirable undertaking. But it also presents a very big communication challenge. It is important to communicate them and make them clear, digestible, emotionally resonant and famous.

We encourage the UN Member States, so deeply involved in the process and the politicians in the country, to take very seriously the challenge of communicating the new goals and making them famous throughout the world.

We believe that the MDGs were not famous enough. Hardly any of our friends and certainly family, had heard of them. The MDGs would have been more effective and powerful if more people outside of government and NGOs circles in more countries had known that they were something to support and fight for.

The new goals could be one of the most powerful and effective documents the UN has ever produced. In that expectation, many others and Con Corazón are lined with the plans to bring a concise version of the goals to all the people around us and in contact with our project, for example, through presentations, on television, newspapers, the Internet, radio, schools. If the targets are well known, if they're famous, if they're popular, they could be a wake-up call to all who fight against poverty and injustice. They could create a generation of well-informed politicians and citizens who have a shared direction and fight together to achieve it.

The goals must ultimately be owned by the citizens of all countries. The goals do not belong only to governments. There should be a version of them that could be placed on the wall of every classroom and etched into the heart of every activist for the years to come. Every government and leader must have a realistic list of things that they are committed to achieving. They must see that if they don't, their citizens will know and hold them accountable. It's not just about communication, it's about implementation.

Con Corazón, has a clear mission, which is caring for the health of human civilization and the state of the natural systems on which it depends. Our goal is to improve planetary health, with a better balance of human needs and the preservation of the earth, to maintain the health and well-being of future generations. We are working in projects following our vision through concrete activities as we want all people have access to health services and education. We give sustainable solutions to vulnerable people - especially in the Peruvian Andes - to increase their quality of life. We achieve this from women’s empowerment to microcredits and community projects. "It means that our activities are part of something bigger, and we are making our valuable contribution to achieving the UN's goals that have been set," says Con Corazón founder Danièle Turkier.

 

A Plan to Follow

The SDGs are a blueprint, a roadmap, a to-do list for the planet, a planetary declaration of rights. The goals for which all those heroes we most admire in all countries have fought. We hope that in the near future everyone will be able to lead a decent life without destroying the potential of the planet and to provide for future generations. We encourage everyone involved to commit to making sure their work really works. When leaders sign the document, it is not only 193 countries that commit, it is more than 7 billion people who commit. Today's complex challenges, ranging from stopping the spread of disease to preventing conflict between nations, cannot be dealt with efficiently if each country tackles it on its own. We need integrated solutions that tackle in depth the problems of people's daily realities. It is necessary to remember that when we work to guarantee the sustainability of the planet, we are talking about preserving and protecting life on the only home we know. Achieving compliance with the SDG agenda before 2030 is the only possible path to survival.

 May 2022

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Testimonials

"Over the years, the Rotary Club of Aarau has been able to generate various projects together with Con Corazón. One of the highlights was certainly the construction of the Medical Center at over 4,000 meters above sea level. The cooperation is always very sustainable, efficient and professional."

Martin Bachmann

Martin Bachmann

Rotary Club Aarau

"What I remember most about my involvement was working with the people in the remote Andean region, where the organization provides valuable support. The unique insight into the culture and way of life of those people is definitely one of the most beautiful and memorable of my stay."

Livia Hollenstein

Livia Hollenstein

Volunteer

"The Andes are my birthplace and I feel deeply connected to this region. To have the opportunity to support the people there in a direct way and without detours is something great. Knowing that donations are going to the right place, to the right people, is what I thank and trust Con Corazón for."

Anna Alberti

Anna Alberti

Donor & Visitor

"I support Con Corazón because Danièle's involvement has convinced me, from the beginning, that the help arrives directly, without any detours. What is also fascinating to me is the constant further development and the focus on the long-term perspective. The highlight was the visit in 2019."

Cordula Sonderegger

Cordula Sonderegger

Donor & Visitor

"I have been following Con Corazón for years, so a visit to Peru was logical and very precious for me. It was extremely impressive to enter into this unknown world and to capture it photographically. As a professional photographer, I still enjoy the impressive images from the Andean region."

Hana Solenthaler

Hana Solenthaler

Donor & Visitor

"In August 2019 finally I had the opportunity to go to the Andes in South America. There I had finished one month of volunteering at the dental clinic in Cusco, Peru. I really enjoyed helping poor people through making dental cleanings for the patients. What an incredible team to work with!"

Mette Højborg

Mette Højborg

Volunteer

"Wow, what an impressive landscape at over 4,000 m.a.s.l., what a beautiful place in the Andes, what unbelievable warm-hearted people! Immediately there was another wow, there is a lot to do for me in the next four months! Marampaqui became a second home for me".

Moritz Mitterer

Moritz Mitterer

Volunteer

"'The only thing that can eliminate poverty is to share with each other. ' Mother Teresa's quote points out how important Con Corazón's mission is to fight poverty in the long term and to give people a perspective. I am very grateful that I was able to visit the organization in Peru."

Anna Alberti

Anna Alberti

Donor & Visitor

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