The clock has started ticking: tick-tok..tick-tok. Rhythmic, Indeed! But deafening.

2020 marks the beginning of the decade that would end by making or breaking the global resolve on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Global goals are to be achieved by 2030.

I must say that clock for these global goals has started ticking. The sound of that tick-tok-tick-tok is rhythmic. For me, however, it is deafening. It is like the siren of the ambulance carrying the COVID19 patients to the hospital. ‘Acceleration’ should be the mantra to achieve the SDGs.

But who would accelerate the process to achieve the SDGs? This was the subject of my keynote address on 4th June 2020. The title of my talk was ‘SDGs-COVID19: Universities can be game-changers’.

United Nations Summit of World Leaders in September 2019, held in New York, just about 4 months before the world was in the grip of new CORONA-virus, was titled “Gearing up for a Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development”. United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres stated recently, “We are in a world in which global challenges are more and more integrated, and our responses are more and more fragmented”.

Four years of implementation of SDGs ended on 31st Dec 2019. UNSG’s remarks on ‘ fragmentation’ sums up the status of SDGs. I said in my talk, ‘Our responses are certainly fragmented. But there is one force that can unite the responses: students in the colleges and universities’.

The latest 2019 UN report on the global progress of SDGs concludes that a much deeper, faster, and more ambitious response is needed. The world must unleash the social and economic transformation to achieve our 2030 goals. Youth-tomorrows policy and future makers-can bring in that transformation.

Then enters the asteroid called COVID19 and strikes Earth. We are now 6 months down the massive strike of COVID19. Our march towards SDGs is facing massive precipice.

What we do now? Should we stare at the steep fall? With just about 10 years to implement SDGs, do we abandon them midway? Would SDGs remain the distant dream?

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