October 24th marks the 47th celebration of the World Development Information Day. On May 17, 1972, the United Nations (UN) Conference on Trade and Development (UTCTAD) proposed measures for dissemination of information and mobilization of public opinion relative to trade and development problems. Later, these were known as resolution 3038 that the United Nations General Assembly passed on 19th of December 1972. The UN General Assembly decided to make the day coincide with the United Nations Day, the day that the UN adopted the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade; thus, both of these days are observed on October 24th. The assembly aimed to draw the attention of the world public-opinion each year to the development problems and the necessity of strengthening international co-operation in order to find constructive solutions to those issues.

According to the UN General Assembly, information and communication technologies are crucially important to solving major problems. In fact, it is very true in various contexts, such as globalization. Constructive solutions to development challenges have the potential to develop economic growth, increase access to information, decrease poverty, improve social inclusion, etc.

In 2015, United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as Global Goals as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. These goals are divided into 17 categories, and are as follows:

  1. End poverty
  2. End hunger and improve sustainable agriculture
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being
  4. Ensure inclusive and quality education
  5. Achieve gender equality
  6. Ensure the availability of water and sanitation
  7. Ensure access to affordable energy
  8. Increase decent work and economic growth
  9. Build resilient infrastructure
  10. Reduce inequality
  11. Make all cities inclusive and safe
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption
  13. Combat climate change
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans and marine resources
  15. Protect and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems
  16. Promote peaceful societies and provide access to justice
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

In my opinion, improved communication and information dissemination will be required in order for UN to achieve these goals by 2030; thus, the advancement in science and technology will certainly be of great contribution.

Today, the World Development and Information Day is celebrated each year on the 24th of October. It emphasizes on improving information dissemination and mobilizing public opinion, especially among the young people. The primary goal for the UN is still raising awareness for the development problems; when the world brings attention to the development issues, countries will be better equipped to find solutions to the problems.

The United Nations holds various events that emphasizes on the development problems and achieving the SDGs. Some of the events include educational seminars and conferences. The UN not only holds events but implements projects of great importance in order to achieve the 2030 Agenda. However, since the emphasis is on information, many events focus on journalists that work across types of media.

It is crucially important for each one of us to participate in the World Development Information Day by thinking about the actions we can take to contribute to the SDGs, because achieving these goals are not an organization-based benefit, but it makes the world a better place for all of us to live in.

Author

Zhala Sarmast is a student, musician, athlete and researcher, born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan. She currently pursues her undergraduate at Yale-NUS College. She loves to read and make music.

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