It seems yesterday, but one year has already passed since I was in New York for the UN General Assembly with a delegation of ONE Youth Ambassadors and I witnessed the world making its biggest ever promise to itself.
Our leaders agreed to 17 Global Goals that would mean a better life for all of us. They would virtually end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change in the next 15 years. There are now 14 years left to turn one of the most incredible to-do lists ever written into action.
The Sustainable Development Goals represent the greatest opportunity of the 21st century for our planet. This is why I pledged to contribute to the achievement of the goals through a variety of activities and initiatives, educating children and raising awareness among adults. We need to be aware in order to act responsibly, it is a challenge and an opportunity for all citizens. We have a duty to put pressure on our leaders to direct their policies in the proper direction. I really believe that we can do it, we can change the world, starting from educational inclusion and equality.
This is why I even co-founded Azul Onlus, an association that works for children in a state of abandonment and enduring difficulties, providing them with education, games and food.
What do I see now? Record levels of crises, and yet for example some countries spending money intended for those living in extreme poverty within their own borders.
Refugees should absolutely get the support they need, but from domestic funds, not by cutting into lifesaving development aid.
There are still 900 million trapped in extreme poverty – the very conditions that fuel instability, disease, conflict and displacement. If we do not tackle humanitarian and development needs together we will never turn those 17 promises made one year ago a reality by 2030.
I am not losing hope: so much progress has been done so far. We need inspired leadership and commitments in the next years if we want to avoid backtracking on the great results already achieved.
I have great expectations for my own country too.In particular, that we use next years’ G7 summit in Sicily, the first port of call for many refugees arriving in Europe, to urge other G7 countries to rise to the challenge of the current crisis and secure the necessary commitments to increase aid levels, in order to respond to the urgent and long-term needs of both humanitarian crises and development.
Every step counts in our march to make this planet a better place, from a local event to a leaders’ summit. I will not stop until we achieve those Global Goals, and neither should any of us.