Leading up to 2015, the UN indicated that it would embark on another round of global goals. In September of this year, they announced agreement on 17 Sustainable Development Goals with targets to attain for each by 2030. These continue the focus on poverty eradication, inequalities, health, but now also encompass a number of goals related to the sustainability of the planet. These are noble aims and if progress continues, it should make the world a better place to live.
Yet when I read through these goals and supporting information, something is missing – the child and family. Goals 3 and 4 do refer to health and education in a very generic way, but that’s it. No mention of the word “child”. Besides disconcerting, it’s somewhat ironic in an effort that is supposed to be about the long-term future of our global society that there is no mention of the children who will be that future. And sadly, but consistent with other statements and actions of the United Nations in the last decade, there is no mention of the word “family”, which appropriately supported and encouraged, could go a long way toward meeting many of the 17 goals they outline.
Maybe in 2030, we can get the words “child” and “family” slipped in to the next round of goals. I don’t say this lightly. I think our field missed an opportunity in 2015.