Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 1 – Ending Poverty

– After introducing Agenda 2030 in past articles, we begin today a series of posts aimed at promoting sustainability through each of the 17 sustainable development objectives by examining their meaning, scope and reality with a critical spirit but with a clear purpose of highlighting their urgency and necessity as an essential presupposition for economic, social and environmental justice on our planet.

– The goal of sustainable development No. 1 is the End of Poverty, something that may seem obvious but in a society dominated by a neoliberal capitalist system, marked by exponential growth, the dictatorship of the market and large private property, those who are below the poverty line, without resources, are irremediably doomed to be victims of a system that shapes ways of living and being a person that lead to extreme inequality.

– A society that has recently invented a word in Spanish, aporophobia, to discriminate against their fellow men without resources, to push them further away from their desires for a class society.

– The fight against poverty is not only an objective of sustainable development, it is an imperative need of a society and a planet that are irremediably heading with this current economic system, to the exhaustion of the planet’s resources. The need for this objective is the palpable reality of a society that is suffering from the transformation of social relations into economic relations, where money has become the only object of desire of people, passing over their fellow men if necessary.

Ending Poverty

– But perhaps the most urgent need for ODS 1 is first of all, and even before the fight against poverty, redistribution, equal distribution or any other action, to find a governance, a policy and politicians that are not part of the socio-economic neo-liberalism they claim to fight against. Rulers not subject to the dictatorship of the market, more concerned with pleasing the lobbying interests of exponential capitalism that protect them, than with satisfying the basic needs that generate immense amounts of social suffering in the midst of an abundance such as has not been known before.

– It is more necessary than ever to fight against ideological poverty before starting to fight for a more just and egalitarian society. As the United Nations Development Programme states:

  • More than a billion human beings live on less than a dollar a day.
  • 2.8 billion people, or nearly half the world’s population, live on less than $2 a day.
  • 20% of the world’s population owns 90% of the world’s wealth.

– How is it possible to accept this situation, these data, if not by obeying an ideological selfishness legitimized and protected politically and by a lack of consideration and solidarity towards the problem and those who suffer from it of all those who live besieged by our voracious and greedy lifestyle.

Either the system is deliberately structured to exclude the poorest, or it is extremely poorly designed” – Philip Alston: UN Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights

The fight against poverty is first and foremost an action, a gesture that must show our discontent with injustice, social exclusion or discrimination. It is a demand for an economic and social system that guarantees a model of equal rights and freedoms where everyone has access to a minimum of well-being. Where economic and social growth is not carried out at the expense of the suffering of others.

Water, food, sanitation, a home… cannot be issues that separate people, that discriminate against them. We must ensure that the redistribution of resources is sufficient to ensure that all people enjoy that minimum of well-being that leads to the development of a dignified life. A sustainable world is a world that can sustain its present and future members in a free, fair and equal manner.

Poverty is not natural, it is man-made and can be overcome and eradicated by human actions. Eradicating poverty is not an act of charity, it is an act of justice.

Nelson Mandela.