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Sustainable Development Goals: An agenda to transform our world

At the end of December 2015 the UN Millennium Development Goals will expire and the world welcomes their new successors – the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the ‘Global Goals’. 
Sorley McCaughey
The 17 new SDGs were launched last September 2015 at the UN Summit in New York in the presence of more than 50 Heads of State including President Michael D Higgins the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and Prime Minister David Cameron.

They will apply over the years 2016-2030 and cover a wide range of areas critical to end poverty, including tackling inequality, discrimination, health, water sanitation, economic growth, food security and action on climate change.

The new global goals are expected to build on, and go beyond the significant achievements of the Millennium Development Goals towards ending global poverty. They will also apply to every country and not just the developing nations.

In addition, there is a commitment to see the goals achieved across all groups in society – ensuring ‘no one is left behind’ in the process, including marginalised communities and people who are discriminated against due to their religion, gender or race.

The Goals set out an ambitious vision for a better world, but they will not be realised unless governments and political leaders are fully committed to financing and implementing them.
On climate change, the new agenda states unequivocally that its adverse impacts will undermine the ability of countries to achieve sustainable development. That is why we are campaigning for an ambitious and legally binding climate deal in Paris this December that drives low-carbon and climate-resilient development.

The inclusion of gender equality as a stand-alone goal, and the target of ‘eliminating all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spheres’ is also welcomed.
Statistics reveal that violence against women is a global epidemic, yet in many countries social norms allow and condone it. Implementing the SDGs will hopefully ensure the right laws, policies and funding to protect and empower women and girls globally.

Other aspects that we’ve worked on include securing the Inequality Goal. We have also stressed that tax justice will be essential if the Goals are to be met.

Christian Aid and our partners will be monitoring what governments do next to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals translate into meaningful action for the communities we work with around the world.

We are specifically urging the UK Prime Minister and the Taoiseach to ensure that the UK and Ireland follow up with their commitments to support all the Sustainable Development Goals with implementation plans and include SDG financing in future budgets.

Nothing less than a collective global commitment and meaningful action over the next 15 years is needed to ensure that these Goals achieve their potential to create a just, sustainable and peace world.

You can read more about the Goals at globalgoals.org


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