Goals for a sustainable future

Today at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, 193 world leaders will commit to 17 Global Goals that will guide economic, social and government policy for the next 15 years. The goals identify issues such as poverty, education, health, climate change and more as major priority areas to focus on in order to achieve sustainable development.

The George Institute for Global Health is a strong supporter and advocate of these Global Goals. Goal Three “Good health and wellbeing: ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages” aligns very closely with our mission to “improve the health of millions of people worldwide”. At the same time much of our work also upholds Goal Five “Gender equality”, Goal 10 “Reduced inequalities” plus many more of the 17 goals in total.

“These goals provide targets for people, organisations and governments to work towards over the next 15 years,” said Principal Director of The George Institute Professor Robyn Norton. “By committing ourselves to these goals, we can collectively achieve development that is as good for humanity and the environment as it is for business and the economy.”

The Global Goals are an offshoot of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were launched in 2000 with a target year of 2015.  Recognising the success of the MDGs and that a new development agenda was needed, a number of countries agreed in 2012 at Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, to develop a set of sustainable development goals for beyond 2015.

The George Institute’s work is based on our belief that medical research involves people, not test tubes: our goal is to generate research outputs that can lead to real-world change within a five-year timeframe, rather than the decades-long timeframes of other research fields.

In China where there are over 100 million people living with diabetes, for example, we carried out an observational registry study to investigate the real-world use of basal insulin.

“For diabetes sufferers, insulin treatment is an effective therapy, and is often the only way to control blood glucose,” said Associate Professor Puhong Zhang, head of Diabetes Research Program at The George Institute China. “However, the longer someone is uncontrolled, the greater the challenge in treating them, increasing the pressure on families and the healthcare system.”

“This study, called ORBIT, is to better understand how the condition is affecting the Chinese diabetic population,” Professor Zhang continued. “The insights we are set to learn from the ORBIT study will improve healthcare for Chinese diabetes patients by contributing to new guidelines and regulations for the use of insulin.”

Professor Norton said: “With the new Global Goals focusing on a broader range of health issues than the MDGs, there are substantial opportunities for The George Institute to play an important role in the achievement of these goals, and we look forward to partnering with colleagues across the world to ensure their success.”

Find out more about the Global Goals.