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Of agendas and freedoms. About the 2030 Agenda

By Carlos Sabino

Let's start at the beginning: what is the so-called “Agenda 2030”, about which there is so much talk?

To put it briefly, it is a UN document that proposes 17 “sustainable development goals”, which, in turn, are broken down into 169 concrete goals, no less. The Agenda refers to many and very important issues of an economic, social, environmental and cultural nature. Those who developed it thought that such goals could be achieved in the year 2030, already very close, and that this would be good for improving our world.


The United Nations General Assembly approved this document a few years ago, although it was never discussed by the voters of the member countries. The aforementioned Agenda is a new version of what was proposed as the “Millennium Agenda”, the first attempt to impose a project of universal scope, which was proposed and made public, also by the UN, in the last decades of the 20th century.


The Agenda contains a large number of goals, some of which appear to be achievable in the short term, others as simple expressions of wishes of those who formulated them. Some of them could be accepted, in principle, by the vast majority of people; others are, however, very controversial. But the important thing is not whether or not their goals are achievable or whether they receive more or less approval from the public. Nor is it about debating the specific measurements and indicators to use to affirm whether or not each of the goals has been achieved. The underlying problem is political, not technical.


What happens with the so-called agendas - in general - is that they set objectives and goals that, whether they sound good or bad, have not been discussed or accepted by those who will be subject to them, that is, by the population that would be affected, in any sense. , if they were carried out. They have been defined by international officials, technicians and scientists, people who may have the best intentions, but who have decided for themselves what is good or what is bad, what is desirable or not for the world . They are, therefore, a form of imposition on the citizens of each country, a direct and clear violation of their individual political rights. Thus, when we talk, for example, about eliminating poverty or preserving the environment, objectives are set that may be desirable and of great importance for some, but not for other people and schools of thought.


When there are minimal civil and political liberties in a country, the projects of what one wants to do, the public goals and objectives, are openly discussed and approved or rejected according to the political constitutions that are in force. Each party, group or personality, each citizen ultimately decides what needs to be done, or at least has some type of participation in the process that leads to decision-making. And these are taken, not because they are good or bad in themselves, but because it is the citizens who ultimately assume the task of evaluating them. Perhaps the process is, in many cases, quite indirect and complex, but in any case it is not an external body, such as the United Nations, that determines what should or should not be done in each country.


What we have just expressed in broad and abstract terms has very concrete and specific implications that concern our daily lives. Because it is worth asking, what public policies will have to be implemented? In what way, in what order, with which and with how many resources? All this is discussed, in modern societies, in what is the debate on the practical policies to be adopted. And these decisions cannot and should not be left in the hands of supposed experts, technicians or scientists, because they are the result of the values held, precisely, by the same people affected. An expert who tells us how we should take care of our health or educate our children is usurping an elementary and basic individual right.


The above does not mean assuming a nationalism that would make each nation a world closed in on itself, in contrast or in conflict with all the rest. It simply implies recognizing the right that we all have to decide about our own lives, beyond the will or desire of international officials who seek a globalization tailored to their needs, imposed from something like a "world government" that no one, for course, has accepted or chosen.



A closer look at this 2030 Agenda also reveals other problems of no small importance. There are misunderstandings and conceptual confusions that could lead to divergent interpretations of what is proposed. But the main problem of the Agenda is that, for all the problems it seeks to solve, statist solutions are proposed: it is always the state that must assume the dominant role, as promoter and executor of the actions to be carried out. In societies like the current ones, in which the State already has an enormous and growing role, advocating for an expansion of the role of the State means nothing other than trying to impose a global socialist order, in a world in which the technocrats and public officials.

Carlos Sabino studied a bachelor's degree in Sociology at the National University of Buenos Aires and has a doctorate in Social Sciences from the Central University of Venezuela (UCV). He is a professor at the Francisco Marroquín University, a member of the Mont Pèlerin Society.


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