The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, UNRISD, come with a new eco-social contract flag to achieve the vision 2030 in the mainstream of justice for all. The 2020 flag of the new eco-social contract is geared to track equality between the climate and the society, build ways to empower the people to protect the earth, improve citizens’ welfare by considering human rights values, gender inclusion, historical injustice and transform the world economy.
As financial bodies keep counting on poverty lines in the world and nations are perpetuating to reduce the scorge of poverty among citizens, it is clear that eradicating poverty alone among people cannot actualise the new eco-social contract. Though, poverty is the backbone of injustice to nature and until governments provide programmes that would reduce the ravaging effect of poverty the abuse of nature can never be reduced. Bush burning, hunting of animals, tree felling, water pollution and land degradation are mostly common in under-developing and developing nations. Gas pollution is another disaster that harms the universe and the environment. As some countries depend on oil exportation, the consequences result to the harmful effect on the universe and humanity. Global warming, ozone, smog and acid rain result to fossil fuel combustion. The burning of coal, oil, gas and wood slowly poses great dangers to the people and the environment. Thousands of people die every year due to burning of woods and oil that cause pandemic and environmental disaster. To reduce these dangers, developing countries and under-developing countries should be aware of the effect of gas pollution and reduce them for sustainable development to achieve the vision 2030 of the UNRISD.
According to Lenski, “inequality is the result of increasing surplus”, with a system of inequality by government, some people will have more opportunities than others while having the control of the surplus. In addressing poverty in the world; governments should gear their efforts towards addressing the abuse of human rights and ecological laws for equal opportunities; the laws must be obeyed for justice, while, citizens should not open their eyes and glare on inequality penetrating through their systems; they should have a voice to call for change and partake in addressing the issues that have to do with eco-social contract. The system of inequality at times comes from government and the citizens have the right to tackle it by raising their voices as it affects all. It is not a privilege for government to be justifiable among its people but it is a must as a constitutional order.
Governments of all corridors of the world should address inequality; promote social justice for development without preferences, as to some people; fighting inequality means fighting poverty alone, alas, this is a wrong notion. Equality means the distribution of resources and power on the basis of constitutional laws, United Nations agenda and human rights values. In Africa, as an example. and other parts of the world, inequality prevails and chokes nations’ growth as the rich continue to be richer and the poor continue to languish in poverty. Sidelining women from political participation is inequality that permeates the continent. Women are segregated, denied education for cultural reasons, lack access to political power and employment. According to UNESCO 2022 report there are 129 million girls that are out of school including 32 million primary school age and 97 secondary students worldwide. In Africa alone, it was estimated that there are 15 million girls that have never set their legs to classrooms to study. The reasons to this negligence on women could be due to religion and culture. In Africa and other parts of the world, culture has become the stagnating block for the progress of women including inclusion and access to education, while, there is no evidence that religion forbids women from study. The governments of all affected nations should unveil policies and laws that could bring development to women in all the affairs of life. In Africa, only Tanzania, Liberia, Malawi, Central Africa, Gabon, Mauritius, and Ethiopia had women as presidents.
In men dominated world, women get little consideration in decision-making that can bring justice and progress to nations. Culture is a setback for women’s political participation in Africa and until women bargain for positions of power they will continue to stay out of leadership cycle. To set a good balance for women participation in politics, government could set an agenda to provide ways for women inclusion and participation. In the case of Nigeria, only 5.7 percent of women occupied seats in the national parliament in 2015 general elections and in India 46.63 percent of women occupied the lower and the upper parliaments in 1962. The African set back on this effect is lack of functional education in some countries. Education is a fundamental right of citizens as UNESCO states: “Education is a basic human right that works to raise men and women out of poverty, level inequalities and ensure sustainable development”. But worldwide, most children are out of school for social, economic and cultural reasons. Africa is dominated with out-of-school children and the results breed insecurity and social problems. It is a clear indication that the higher number of out-of-school children in the world are posing threats and dangers to the progress and growth of the world as many illegally migrate to other nations in search of greener pastures. A research in January 2022 has shown that majority of those traffickers conveyed to different countries of the world didn’t attend school, and until nations take the issue of trafficking very seriously many people will continue to die in the Meditenerian Sea.
The new eco-social contract is to make the system of governments beneficial for all. The fingers are not equal, and for this, all the citizens of a state or country cannot be the same. Government must look for ways to equalise its system for the masses. The rich pay taxes and levies that can be utilised to cover some of the needs of the vulnerable masses. Government’s hospitals can provide some free programmes to cater for people that cannot afford medication. Pregnant women and children medication can be free, students need loans and scholarships to fulfill their dreams on education. Loans could be provided for businesses to prosper. For the survival of all, government and institutions should stop corruption in employment. Employment is based on criteria and any applicant that fulfills the requirements should be considered for the offer but in some instances employment are given to people under the table, and some people sell offers of employment to preferred people for money.
The Covid 19 pandemic that had shut down the world is still a roadblock to the development of the world and the vision of the SDGs. The pandemic has claimed over 6 million people worldwide and there are more people that are still suffering from its effect. Until governments of all states shift ground in providing free medication on the coronavirus pandemic, the people of the world will keep suffering the dangers and the threats of the disease. Apart from the coronavirus pandemic there are other diseases that are threatening human lives and animals. HIV/AIDS is another untreated pandemic that is still killing large number of people. Research has shown that many world historical pandemics are either caused by man, his environment or animals. Another detriment of inequality is abandoning people with mental deficiency roaming streets and feeding on garbage. Poor patients are left to die because they have no money and people with mental deficiency at times die in sea and streams thereby contaminating drinking water.
The agenda of United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, UNRISD, is to set a progressive way for sustainable development, eradicate poverty, reduce inequality, promote peace and promote the sustainability of the earth, and all nations should imbibe these prospects for earth protection and people development.
Ibrahim writes from Kaduna, Kaduna state, Nigeria via [email protected]>