Behind the lines are innocent children confined to hell
Written by Vincent McCarthy, CFA
Editor’s Note, The ESG Factor Magazine
Goal 16 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to “Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies”. Yet war and conflict continues to rage. UN resolutions for a ceasefire are meaningless, when the most powerful countries follow their own rules.
Over the last few days, my son, almost two years old, has been sick with a cold. There is nothing worse than seeing your little one suffer. You do everything you can to make them feel better and more comfortable. It’s mostly just being there with them until it eventually passes and the gregariousness returns. For the children helplessly stuck in warzones, their suffering has no end in sight.
When we talk about innocent civilians in war, there are none more innocent than children. Every day they are being injured or killed. These kids live in a constant state of fear, enduring neurological stress that will leave permanent scars. When you see the news footage or watch the documentaries, you can imagine the sense of helplessness but it impossible to fathom what they are going through.
One of the beautiful things about being a dad is seeing the amazement and excitement as your child experiences everything for the first time. Something as simple as raindrops spurs curiosity. For a child surrounded by conflict, even if they avoid injury or death, they are robbed of their freedom to let that natural curiosity flourish. Some will be left without a dad to help them through their pain.
Condemnation of violence should be a call for peace, not more violence. But peace requires compromise, even if it is through gritted teeth. Without peace, children are confined to living in hell. They are deprived of their childhood and left devoid of hope for the future.
The SDGs, when established and agreed by world leaders in 2015, formed an ambitious roadmap towards the ideal of sustainable economic development, prioritising the health of the planet and life on it. When countries continuously act in contravention to these goals, it is not a surprise that the world is off track.