Football For the Goals: Goal of the Month Editorial – August 2023 Edition

29 August 2023

Football For the Goals: Goal of the Month Editorial – August 2023 Edition

EFDN is pleased to share the August 2023 edition of the Football For the Goals: Goal of the Month Editorial. This is an insightful editorial that highlights the ongoing sustainable development efforts taken by Football For the Goals towards their 2030 deadline of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda. As they near the halfway point of their Agenda, they must continue their journey to promote the SDGs through the universal language of football. This month’s editorial showcases the SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, which promotes inclusive economic growth, ensuring full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

Sustainable Development Goal 8 is about promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the worst economic crisis in decades and reversed progress on key issues related toward decent work for all. While global economies have slowly bounced back since 2021, recovery still remains elusive and fragile, especially around employment improvement and availability for all.

Where Are They Now?

As Football For the Goals reaches the midpoint-review of the 2030 Agenda, it is clear that multiple crises are placing tremendous pressure on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. According to the 2023 UN World Economic Situations and Prospect Report (WESP), growth momentum weakened in the United states, European Union, and other developed economics, causing rippling effects on the rest of the world. World output growth is projected to decelerate from an estimated 3.0 per cent in 2022 to 1.9 per cent in 2023, marking one of the lowest growth rates in recent decades. Growth in real GDP per capita in 2023 is estimated to still be slower, falling short of the SDG target of 7 per cent.

Global employment opportunities have also been highly impacted, with key issues for women and youth. The UN Secretary General’s 2023 SDGs Report: Special Edition highlights that unemployment rates significantly declined in 2022, with an estimated total global unemployment of 192 million. Furthermore, according to WESP, job recovery in developing countries has been slower with rates notably higher than before the pandemic. Additional factors, such as impacts from climate change, have also created obstacles on countries trying to achieve productive employment and decent work for all.

Further declines are expected in 2023, but the youth unemployment rate continues to be higher than the rate for adults, highlighting the ongoing challenges in securing opportunities for young people. The pandemic disproportionately affected women and young people in the labour market, and while some recovery was seen, young people aged 15-24 still face difficulties in securing decent employment. Moreover, many young people, especially young women, were not in education, employment, or training in 2022. This is predominant in areas like Central, Southern and Western Asia and Northern Africa. 

To ensure the achievement of SDG 8, a financial system that not only tackles issues in rising debt and economic uncertainty, but also focuses on promoting equitable pay and decent work for all young people is needed.

August International Days

International Day of Indigenous People (9 August)

International Day of Indigenous People takes place every year on 9 August. Indigenous people are less than 5 per cent of the world’s population but account for 15 per cent of the poorest, and more than 86% of indigenous peoples globally work in the informal economy, compared to 66% for their non-indigenous counterparts, making awareness of these populations vital in the road to achieving SDG 8.

International Youth Day (12 August)

To mark International Youth Day this year, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth ran a month-long campaign focused on showcasing young people’s resilience, resourcefulness and leadership when it comes to creating a better world for all.

Under the theme of “Celebrating Ways #YouthLead as Agents of Change for the Global Goals”, the Office handed over its digital channels (social media, website, email) to a different young person each day throughout the month of August, culminating in a first-of-its-kind month-long takeover showcasing the myriad of intersectional ways that young people are contributing to achievement of the SDGs around the world.

World Humanitarian Day (19 August)

The 19th of August marks a bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003. The attack killed 22 humanitarian aid workers, including the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. In 2008 – 5 years after the event, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution which designated the 19th of August as World Humanitarian Day in appreciation of humanitarian work.

This day remains important to commemorate, as aid workers remain at risk while doing their jobs: In 2021, 460 aid workers were attacked: 140 killed, 203 wounded and 117 kidnapped. The role of humanitarian workers is key to achieving the SDGs and it is essential that we recognize this.

‌International Day for Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief (22 August)

This International day highlights the importance of supporting those who have been victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief. Freedom of religion or belief, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of association are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, acts of intolerance and violence based on these are increasing. To recognize the importance of combating these, the General Assembly adopted a resolution titled “International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief” strongly condemning continuing violence and acts of terrorism targeting individuals, including persons belonging to religious minorities, on the basis of or in the name of religion or belief. Additional details can be found here.

As these events are commemorated, Football For the Goals calls to use the power of football as a tool for raising awareness, fostering dialogue, and inspiring action. Together, it is possible to contribute to building a world where every individual has the opportunity to thrive.


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