The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the 2030 Agenda, endorsed by the United Nations in 2015, are the result of a long deliberative process. They reflect a broad international consensus on the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.
It is clear that scientists, economists, engineers, politicians, sociologists, and even militaries have many reasons to care about the SDGs: pollution, altered climate patterns, destruction of the ozonosphere, soil degradation, erosion, ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity, depletion of renewable and non-renewable resources, imbalance of nitrogen and phosphorus cycles. These are just a few of the major planetary problems and constraints reported by the scientific community. They are convincing reasons to mobilize the main powerbrokers of today’s societies.
Water availability, protection against ultraviolet radiation, food security, disease spread, agricultural productivity, public health, financial risk, political stability, natural security and migration flows are all issues vital to the future of civilization. They would seem to be unrelated, but when they were subjected to study and the specialized analyses that led to the formulation of the SDGs, direct or indirect relationships between them were identified.
However, among the interlocutors called upon by the 2030 Agenda, there is a surprising underestimation of some very influential global actors, such as the great religious traditions. For some, this is obvious, since they are convinced that religions should not be involved in a technical debate unrelated to matters of faith.