Wondering the meaning of the number “17” part1 ”UN SDGs and Pax Japonica” Vol. 2


 I am sure many of you may have seen the news that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up a panel of experts on the SDGs and is discussing the SDGs with an eye on setting the next target after 2030, which is the deadline for achieving them. About 10 years have passed since the SDGs were adopted by the United Nations in 2015, and there are only five years left until the target of 2030, but it is not easy to achieve them due to the spread of COVID-19 and the situation in Ukraine.

 At the same time as accelerating efforts to achieve the goal, it is necessary to consider the movement toward the next goal. Whether Japan can lead the discussion will also be a point of contention. Today I would like to take a look at what the SDGs are and how they were formulated. In Vol.1, Mr. Iwasaki discusses about the MDGs, which are said to be the predecessors of the SDGs adopted in 2000. Issues such as “peace and security,” “development and poverty,” “environmental conservation,” and “human rights” were presented, and goals and roles for each country to be resolved were formulated.

 The SDGs consist of two main systems: peace, development and human rights, and environment and sustainability. It all started in 1945.The United Nations was established as a reflection of World War II. In the 1960s, the United Nations General Assembly declared the United Nations Decade of Development, which put a spotlight on the “North-South problem,” which pointed out the economic disparity between developed and developing countries. In response to a proposal by U.S. President John F. Kennedy, the goal was to raise the economic growth rate of developing countries to 5%. Although the economic growth rate improved, the per capita growth rate did not reach 5% due to population growth.

 At the 1972 Club of Rome report on the limits of growth. Each country sought financial and physical wealth, and its own prosperity and growth were the first priority, but it was difficult to accept that there were limits to this. The crisis was called for population growth and environmental pollution to be recognized as problems for the entire world. If we don’t take action to improve it, we will eventually fall into food shortages, depletion of natural resources, and within 100 years, the growth of the earth will reach its limit. In addition, even after the end of the Cold War, violent conflicts occurred around the world, and while many lives were lost, one of the major roles of the United Nations was to protect human rights and achieve peace.

 The term “Sustainable Development” was first used in 1987 at the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED = World Commission on Environment and Development). Many of you may know it as the Brundtland Committee. It was taken from the fact that the chairman of the committee was Gro Haarlem Brundtland, who later became the prime minister of Norway.

from the HP of United Nations Information Centre

 In the report “Our Common Future”, sustainable development is defined as “development that meets the needs of today’s generations without compromising their ability to meet the needs of future generations”. It seeks a form of development and development that ensures sustainability so that the realization of affluence in the present does not infringe on the environment and resources of future generations, and expresses what it should be.

 Anyway, is there anything that comes to mind when you think of the number “17” in the number of SDGs 17? 17 is the seventh prime number. You will often see it as Shohei Ohtani’s uniform number. If you add one more, it will be 18, which can be divided by 2 or 3, which is a missing number somewhere. I don’t know if 17 has any special meaning, but I want everyone to think about it. I’m going to put my pen down for today. See you next week in part 2.

Corporate Planning Group,

Risako Ikeda