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Global 21 fourth quarter 2015

Goal difference The 17 new Sustainable Development Goals were agreed at a UN summit in September, giving countries a challenging list of targets to meet by 2030 four th quar ter 2015 global The year 2015 has loomed large for the development community ever since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were launched 15 years earlier. This year the goals – which tackled health, education, poverty, sustainability and gender equality – mature, so a new set of development goals were agreed at a UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York in September: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to UN figures, 836 million people still live in extreme poverty, with about one in five people in developing regions living on less than $1.25 per day. One in nine people in the world are undernourished, with 66 million primary school aged children attending classes hungry. When it comes to accommodation, 828 million people still live in slums, a number that is continually rising. And almost two billion people worldwide have to drink water that is contaminated with human waste. While the MDGs kept things simple, the SDGs cover almost every development angle you can think of. There were eight MDGs with each containing a few short targets, compared to 17 SDGs, which have up to 19 targets each – 169 in total. The SDGs form part of a UN programme called Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The new goals will kick in in 2016, replacing the MDGs. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the New York summit, which was attended by more than 150 world leaders. He declared: “The new agenda is a promise by leaders to all people everywhere. It is an agenda for people, to end poverty in all its forms – an agenda for the planet, our common home.” He added: “It conveys the urgency of climate action. It is rooted in gender equality and respect for the rights of all.” General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft admitted that the goals were ambitious, telling the assembled dignitaries: “We recognise the need to reduce inequalities and to protect our common home by changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production. And we identify the overwhelming need to address the Arena Kyle Meadow 28 l www.global -br ief ing.org global four th quar ter 2015


Global 21 fourth quarter 2015
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