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Progress on global development goals but much work remains, says Christian Aid

21 July 2014 - Negotiators of the next global plan to reduce poverty and protect the environment made progress at the weekend and agreed proposals which include welcome new goals on climate change and on inequality, Christian Aid says today.

The 28-hour negotiating marathon of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals produced a document which is a good basis for further inter-governmental negotiations on post-2015 goals.

However, the talks also saw some damaging last-minute reversals on draft proposals to protect the climate, with two important targets on eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, and dramatically increasing use of renewable energies both watered down.

Despite numerous calls from civil society and support from leading economists, the report also fails to include a target to reduce economic inequality.

'What is vital now is that Governments build ambitiously on the document agreed at the weekend,' said Helen Dennis, Senior Adviser on Poverty and Inequality at Christian Aid.

'It’s encouraging that the text includes new goals and targets on major problems which are ignored by the existing Millennium Development Goals, such as climate change, inequality, fiscal policy and disaster risk reduction. Proposals for a strengthened stand-alone goal on gender equality are also welcome.

'But a considerable amount of work remains to ensure that we move beyond ‘business as usual’ and secure the best possible outcome in 2015 for people and planet.

'The question of ‘who pays’ for sustainable development is also still under discussion and while it is positive to see the issue of illicit financial flows (IFFs) acknowledged in the document, we hope that future talks on these goals and on Financing for Development will give much more prominence to tax justice.'

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact Rachel Baird on 00 44 (0)207 523 2446 or rbaird@christian-aid.org. Alternatively, contact the 24 hour press duty phone on 07850 242950.  

Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change www.christianaid.org.uk/images/partnership-for-change-summary.pdf explains how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk

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