The social supply chain of the Sustainable Development Goals
UN Delegate Opinion Piece
The United Nations has implemented Agenda 2030 in 2015, with 17 sustainable development goals promising social, economic, and environmental prosperity while protecting world peace.
My experience attending side events revealed the pressure put on countries to comply in programs that lead to the fulfillment of the sustainable development goals, reinforced by panelists saying “time is running out” and “our deadline is approaching”. Seeing the initiatives taken up by varying countries aimed at fulfilling this agenda, opened my eyes to the role that the SDGs serve in bringing together communities, governments, NGOs, UN agencies, and stakeholders.
Global supply chains are a component of free trade that removes barriers and encourages countries to have a place in the global market. Participation in a supply chain is seen as economically beneficial for the nation state and other participating countries within the chain. Supply chains produce a good or service, by allowing each country to do their part in manufacturing a puzzle piece, with globalization being the means to bring these pieces together to compose the final product.
My experience at the United Nations drew me to think of global supply chains as an analogy to what I observed. I think of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as the “good or service” that all countries are working towards. Just as a country would manufacture a piece to the product to fulfill their participation in the global supply chain, I observe countries striving to fulfill their participation in what I view as a “social supply chain”. I noticed the involvement of UN agencies in Global South countries in need of their support to fulfill these goals. But the UN pressuring countries into adopting their initiatives so that the 2030 agenda is met on time by all participating member states, makes these countries victims to ideological colonization. They make perfect targets because just as global supply chain participants are concerned over economic benefit, countries dedicated to fulfilling the SDGs are focused on receiving the holistic prosperity that Agenda 2030 promises.
The UN agencies make their way into these countries by using deceptive language. They raise real concerns to these countries such as gender-based violence and gender inequalities, and present solutions such as access to technology and youth empowerment education programs. This partnership of the UN meeting these needs with modern solutions builds a relationship in which these countries become subject to other issues and solutions the UN may raise. Forexample, raising a gender inequality issue focused on women’s health, with solutions such as access to contraception and ending unwanted pregnancies, via abortion.
The sustainable development goals are extremely important criteria that all countries must work towards. But why do we have agencies such as UNFPA being the means in which these countries are striving to meet these goals? What do access to contraception and sexual and reproductive health (i.e abortion) have to do with ending poverty and ensuring clean water? How can this social supply chain and the partnerships within it fulfill their goals when Canada’s foreign aid breakdown allocates the highest financial support to funding abortions in Africa? Justin Trudeau sends more money for the purpose of ending preborn lives overseas, than money towards providing them food, water, and other essentials. However these countries fall into the trap of needing to do their part for the greater good by the year 2030. Building partnerships with the UN to receive support in fulfilling their contribution, opens the door of furthering the UN agenda.
These lesser developed countries are eager for education and innovation to be more deeply invested into the global network. The further they feel included into the global network by adopting Western ideologies and practices, the greater hope they feel that their communities and country will socially and economically prosper. This inversely proportional relationship is interesting to examine and became very obvious to me. The more they seek economic and social success through ties with the UN, the more they are at risk of anti-life and anti-family practices.