To the question "Do you know the Sustainable Development Goals?
Probably, like almost 94% of French people, you don't know them. Unless you are one of the 47% of people who say they have heard of them at least once... In both cases, you will not be satisfied with the picture painted by the new IFOP survey in partnership with the 4D Association and the My World 2030 programme of 1013 people over the age of 18 on awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in France.
Targets to be reached by 2030, yet unknown to the French
Only 6% of French people say they have a clear idea of what they are. Yet the Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in September 2015 by 193 countries, including France. All the heads of state gathered committed themselves to achieving 17 goals broken down into almost 169 indicators with the sole aim of building a world free of hunger, poverty, disease and ignorance by 2030.
A mobilisation of all is necessary to achieve them
It is therefore a pity that three years after their adoption, no one is aware of the SDGs. One thing is certain: without the mobilisation of all nations, all citizens, companies, NGOs and politicians, achieving these goals will remain purely utopian. Knowing them therefore seems to be the first step. And it seems urgent not to waste any more time, because there are only 12 years left - and for the time being, little or nothing has been done, according to nearly one French person out of two - to create sustainable development accessible to all.
Health, peace and education a priority, say the French
Among the priorities, the French want to see work intensified to ensure :
- access to health and well-being for all,
- the advent of peaceful and just societies,
- access to quality education,
- access to decent work
- the disappearance of hunger in the world.
Poverty, inequality, peace and environment: France is regressing
But for the time being, their judgement is harsh: they consider that France is regressing on the issues of poverty, inequality, peace and the environment. For nearly 1 out of 2 French people, nothing has been done to reach the goal of 12 years of free education for all by 2030. Although Aide et Action, as an NGO specialized in education, can only be optimistic and see, through our own projects, real efforts towards universal primary and secondary education by 2030, there is no doubt that a real broad-based movement and political will to achieve the SDGs and leave no one behind.
Education for all: the need for urgent action
According to the UN, there is currently a shortfall of $39 billion per year and 69 million teachers to achieve MDG 4, i.e. access for all to 12 years of free education. At the current rate, if nothing changes, the international organisation warns, universal schooling will not be achieved before 2042 for primary education, not before 2059 for secondary education, and not before 2084 for high school. That is more than 54 years behind the 2030 target.
It is therefore urgent to act and to start with the basics, as the Ifop survey reminds us: knowing the SDGs seems to be a natural prerequisite if we hope in the slightest to see a new world come about. The question remains as to the reasons for this lack of knowledge: poor communication about the SDGs, the complexity of the 17 goals and their 169 indicators, lack of faith in goals that are often considered too utopian... the question remains open, but we cannot advise our politicians too strongly to look into the matter - quickly.