18/09/2015 07:19 BST | Updated 17/09/2016 06:12 BST

How Facebook's Dislike Button Could End Poverty


The global public have spoken. In our desire for an opportunity to 'show empathy' and in recognition that 'not every moment is a good moment' (to quote Facebook's head honcho Mark Zuckerberg) the social media giant is 'working on it'. Our ability to 'dislike' at the click of a thumb is on the horizon.

Thank Goodness.

Next week 150 of our world's leaders will gather at the UN headquarters to address a host of issues which most of us would agree we wholeheartedly dislike. The adoption of these ambitious global development building blocks, named the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are set to build on the Millennium Development Goals, which have reached their target year this year. The international community are calling for world leaders to #lighttheway and invoke meaningful governmental action that promotes a shared prosperity and well-being for all of us until 2030.

So in the spirit of Zuckerberg's new dislike button here are the 17 unlikeable things the SDGs will attempt to fix:

1. One in five people in developing regions still live on less than $1.25 a day.

2. Our soils, freshwater, oceans, forests and biodiversity are being rapidly degraded.

3. More than six million children still die before their fifth birthday each year.

4. 103 million young people worldwide lack basic literacy skills, and more than 60 per cent of them are women.

5. Women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.

6. Due to bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.

7. One in five people still lacks access to modern electricity.

8. Roughly half the world's population still lives on the equivalent of about US$2 a day.

9. Inadequate infrastructure leads to a lack of access to markets, jobs, information and training.

10. Inequality within countries has risen.

11. Common urban challenges include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing and declining infrastructure.

12. Each year, an estimated one third of all food produced ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices.

13. People are experiencing the significant impacts of climate change, which include changing weather patterns, rising sea levels, and more extreme weather events. .

14. As much as 40 per cent of the world's oceans are heavily affected by human activities, including pollution, depleted fisheries, and loss of coastal habitats.

15. Thirteen million hectares of forests are being lost every year while the persistent degradation of drylands has led to the desertification of 3.6 billion hectares.

16. Corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost some US $1.26 trillion for developing countries per year.

The bit we can like:

1. Speaking out works. The potential return of the dislike button says so. The public made noise and, as the internet rumours rumble, Facebook is listening and responding.

2. Much more importantly, the United Nations are developing Sustainable Development Goals which aim to address everything that is so clearly not likeable in the above list. The meeting of these goals requires global action and the use of your voice to invoke change.

Not all moments are good moments but in togetherness there is hope. 'For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you.'

If you want to be part of the solution then join The Christian Aid Collective, a movement of young people taking actions to create a different world. You can also plug in to #globalgoals and build awareness of the SDGs while encouraging our leaders to #lighttheway.