The goals are set to expire 15 years after their creation, which is this year. The MDGs will be replaced by new Global Goals, or as the UN calls them the Sustainable Development Goals. They will be solidified at the UN General Assembly in late September, when world leaders from 193 countries will announce a renewed pledge to fight inequality, protect our planet and end extreme poverty by 2030.
This is where YOU come into the equation. Together, global citizens will be calling on world leaders to commit to a variety of targets that will ensure the world sees an end to extreme poverty by 2030. These commitments will be announced at the Global Citizen Festival on September 26, timed to coincide with the launch of the Global Goals.
Here’s a run-down of the policy priorities you and global citizens around the world will be taking on for the Festival: girls and women, food and hunger, education, global health, and water, sanitation and hygiene.
1. Girls & Women
Poverty plummets when girls and women get a fair go in society. But too often they’re excluded. For example, in 15 countries women still require their husband’s permission to have a job. That’s simply not acceptable.
Increasing female labor participation rates is fundamental to the empowerment of girls and women and also to national economic growth.
To change this, global citizens will be calling on world leaders to outline a plan to achieve gender equality in work, detailing how they’re going to get women treated fairly, and give them an equal chance at employment.
2. Food and Hunger
Boosting agricultural growth is up to 4 times more effective than any other mechanism of poverty alleviation. And with 75% of the world’s poor living in rural areas, agricultural development is critical to our mission to seeing an end to extreme poverty.
Last month, the G7 group of leaders – including the United States – announced a plan to reduce global hunger by 500 million people. Talk is cheap, so ahead of the Global Citizen Festival, global citizens will be asking G7 leaders to put their money where their mouth is, and commit to how they’ll pay for reducing hunger. As the leader of the G7 this year, the focus will be particularly on German Chancellor Merkel to join the Festival and announce new funding.
In the United States, we’re calling for the passage of the Global Food Security Act which will strengthen and codify the Feed the Future Initiative in the United States. If Congress passes the Global Food Security Act of 2015, it will be taking a critical step toward ending global hunger and malnutrition in our lifetime.
In addition, global citizens are working for substantive reforms in American food aid policy. Reforms around cargo preference would make food aid much more efficient and effective, increasing access to food in emergency situations for millions more people.
All children everywhere deserve the chance to get 12 years of free, safe and quality education. Around the world, parents, teachers and local governments have stepped up to make this happen, but the richest countries in the world are not pulling their weight.
Rich countries need to go from giving billions to tens of billions to education. And to this end, the Global Partnership for Education, the only multilateral partnership devoted to getting every child into school, needs to be scaled up into a fund that can disburse at least $15 billion USD a year.
Ahead of the Global Citizen Festival, global citizens will be asking some of the world’s leading donors to announce new funding for this initiative and set a strong example for others to follow.