On 2 January, a Facebook user, Khatuna Shengelia, posted a message reading that a multicolored badge worn by Giorgi Pkhakadze, a member of the United Nations Secretary-General Independent Accountability Panel, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of World Health Organization, and American philanthropist Bill Gates symbolizes Agenda 2030 while 17 colors on the badge represent 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The Facebook user claims that all the 17 SDGs listed in the resolution drawn up by the UN speak about a decrease in the world population. The message is accompanied with a photo of the above listed persons as well as a link of the website that, according to the Facebook user, is the evidence of the above claim.
As of 8 January, the post garnered 213 reactions and 571 shares.
The assertion of the Facebook user that all the 17 SDGs speak about a decrease in population is wide of the mark. An article referenced as a source is not an official document of the United States Organization but an interpretation of the document offered by a British organization. The Agenda for Sustainable Development concerns modern challenges and aims to improve quality of life, eradicate poverty and hunger, combat climate change and ensure sustainable use of natural resources, support economic growth and peaceful, inclusive society worldwide.
Agenda 2030 is a resolution drafted by the United Nations Organizations and to promote sustainable development, the signatories of the resolution have committed themselves to supporting the elimination of modern global challenges by achieving 17 goals and 169 targets over the following 15 years. The document referenced in the Facebook post, “Population and the Sustainable Development Goals,” contains 17 goals related to issues such as poverty, inequality, wellbeing, peace and justice as well as climate and environmental challenges. These 17 goals are assigned different colors and accordingly, the logo on the badge is multicolored too. The 17 goals include:
- End poverty in all its forms everywhere;
- End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture;
- Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages;
- Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all;
- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls;
- Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all;
- Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all;
- Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all;
- Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation;
- Reduce inequality within and among countries;
- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable;
- Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns;
- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts;
- Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development;
- Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss;
- Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels;
- Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
The UN Sustainable Development program is oriented on improving people’s wellbeing, supporting economic growth of countries and creating better environment on the planet; it says nothing about the depopulation of the world.
The source indicated by the Facebook user is the interpretation of 17 UN SDGs, not an official document. It has been published on the webpage of a British charity organization Population Matters. According to this material, the UN SDGs for 2030 may not be achieved because they do not envisage increase in population. Therefore, the author of the paper discusses each goal from the perspective of population growth and highlights problems that it may entail. The organization believes that in a world of finite resources, everyone should be free to make reproductive and consumption choices taking into account positive, ethical and practical decisions.
A conspiracy theory about UN Agenda 21/2030 was first shared by a Facebook user, Vernon Adkinson, on 10 May 2020. He claimed that the UN adopted a document designed to set up a “new world order,” which listed goals for 2021-2030. Once the post went viral, a fact-checking platform, USA Today, double-checked the content of the post. Daniela Gross, a spokesperson for the U.N. Secretary-General, told USA Today that the UN had never adopted a document mentioned in the Facebook post.
Reports circulated in December 2020 that the coronavirus pandemic was a special operation masterminded by the World Bank while the virus was man-made to fulfill the Agenda 2030 goals. In reality, Agenda 2030 is not a World Bank’s document, but a strategic document adopted by the UN in 2015 and it says nothing about a global pandemic.
Other conspiracy theories about Agenda 2030 has been debunked by the Myth Detector in its earlier publications:
- Does UN Secret Document on New World Order Actually Exist?
- Nine False Claims about COVID-19, World Bank and World Economic Forum
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