Faculty of International Studies
【国際学部】リレー・エッセイ（25） Sarah Asada, “Understanding Global Issues”
Global issues. When you hear this, what comes to mind?
Climate change. Terrorism. Poverty. Famine.Child labor. Inequality. Education. War.
These are common global issues that my students think of when we discuss global issues. Why do we, as individuals and nations, feel a strong desire to address global issues?
First, we must consider the definition of a global issue. Many countries around the world face a variety of problems, but how do we know which problems are global issues? If the problem impacts a large number of people in different countries, then it becomes a global issue. Global issues are so big that they need more than one country to solve. Global issues impact so many people in a variety of countries that we, as humans, feel responsible to help fix the problems.
In 2015, the United Nations announced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There are 17 SDGs that aim to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity” by 2030 This is not the first time the world has come together to address global issues. In 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted by the United Nations. The MDGs proclaimed eight international development goals to be achieved by 2015. One of the important features of the SDGs is that in includes both developing countries and developed countries unlike the MDGs that focus on developing countries.
If we dig below the surface of developed countries, we can see there are still many improvements to be made to help the lives of all their people. In the GSE Program, I teach a course called “Contemporary Global Issues III.” In this class, we explore global issues that occur in the societies of the US and UK.
An important part of the class is the group research project. Each group decides their own global issue. Next, group members work together to research and become experts on the global issue. At the end of the semester, each group teaches the class about the importance of the global issue and how it impacts the US and UK. This year groups areexploring issues surrounding violence, religion, global warming, health, cleanwater and sanitation, immigration, sexuality, and poverty.
SDGs. Gender. Mommy Tax. Fatherhood Bonus. Diplomacy. Soft Power. Disney. Security. Teachers. Children. Education. Development.
What do all of these words have in common? Well, you will have to join my class to find out!
Until then, you can visit https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgsto learn more about the SDGs and what the world is trying to achieve by 2030.