This quote from Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus perfectly encapsulates the message behind International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October. At the formal opening of the Yunus Social Business Centre at Griffith University in April 2017Nik Sekhran, Director and Chief of Profession for Sustainable Development, UN Development Programme, provided the following statistics on world-wide poverty: 

  • 836 million people live on less than 1.25 dollars a day 
  • 2.2 billion people live on less than 2 dollars a day 
  • 3.7 billion people live on less than 8 dollars a day; at the time, half the world’s population. 

Today, more than 700 million people live in extreme poverty. That is 10 per cent of the world’s population who live without being able to access such basic needs as water, sanitation and food. In 2020, the additional concern is that the global COVID-19 health crisis will negatively impact the fight against poverty. 

UN Sustainable Development Goals and Griffith University 

In 2016, the United Nations Member States adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere. 

Goal 1: No Poverty focuses on ending poverty and includes helping millions of people to achieve the ability to live a sustainable life that includes the basic personal needs of shelter, food and water, health and education. 

Through the Sustainable Development Goals, it is recognised that none of the issues identified can be resolved by addressing the goals in isolationthe 17 goals influence each other, and their successful resolution is dependent on each other. 

So, what role do universities play? Recently named as Australia’s and Oceania’s only UN Millennium Fellows Campus, Griffith University plays an important role in supporting and contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Listen to Professor Mario Pinto, DVC (Research), as he explores the UN Sustainable Development Goals and explains how they are a key part oGriffith’s sustainability strategy 

More information 

For each of the 17 goals, SDG Explorer showcases Griffith Business School academics whose research advances the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Through our open access research on Griffith Research Onlinelearn more about how the Sustainable Development Goals are being addressed.