UN Sustainable Development Goals: CARE welcomes powerful final wording

UN Sustainable Development Goals: CARE welcomes powerful final wording

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Stand-alone goals on gender and climate change a major achievement / meaningful and well-resourced implementation plan will now be crucial

NEW YORK (August 3, 2015) — CARE welcomes the release of an historic Sustainable Development Agenda today which signals hope and justice for women and men, boys and girls around the globe.

Following three years of global meetings, tense political negotiations and behind-the-scenes lobbying, shaped partly by a powerful global backlash against women’s sexual and reproductive rights, CARE applauds that the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are to be formally adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September. These include stand-alone goals on both climate change and gender equality, a commitment to reproductive rights and to ending hunger and malnutrition.

“The gender equality goal, with targets on critical issues, such as eliminating violence against all women and girls, and giving women equal economic rights and access to financial services, represents enormous progress,” says Dr. Wolfgang Jamann, Secretary General and CEO of CARE International.

In the face of a backlash by a small but highly vocal, well-funded coalition of conservative member states and groups, global women’s groups fought to protect the gains made at key women’s rights conferences in Cairo and Beijing in the mid-1990s. Issues such as access to contraceptives have become highly politicized, slowing progress on tackling maternal mortality, a key underlying cause of poverty.

“Critically,” says Dr. Jamann, “this agenda advances a strong commitment to universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights - backed by specific targets such as universal access to family planning.”

CARE equally welcomes the new Sustainable Development Agenda’s emphasis on tackling climate change. “We simply cannot achieve sustainable development and eradicate poverty without ambitious climate action”, says CARE’s Dr. Jamann. “This Outcome Document provides a stepping stone for more ambition at the upcoming climate conference in Paris in December.”

CARE cautions, however, that, there is much work to do before the SDGs can truly transform the world. A “UN Financing for Development” conference held this July resulted in limited progress on key issues such as the need to increase international aid, and to tackle illicit financial flows and global tax evasion. Ultimately, the financing and accountability frameworks that will be essential to the implementation of the new development agenda remain vague, and it will be urgent for governments to engage civil society actively in participatory monitoring and accountability of implementation,

“The current wording of the Sustainable Development Goals is powerful, representing the tireless work of civil society and governments over the last three years” says Dr. Jamann. “This is an outcome worth celebrating. But now the real work of implementation begins.”

Media contact

Holly Frew  +1.404.979.9389  hfrew@care.org

About CARE

Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. To learn more, visit www.care.org.