UN sets goal to end poverty, hunger in next 15 years

August 3, 2015

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The 193 member states of the United Nations have reached agreement on a new development agenda for the next 15 years that calls for eradicating poverty and hunger, achieving gender equality, improving living standards and taking urgent action to combat climate change.

The draft agreement reached Sunday evening outlines 17 goals with 169 specific targets on issues ranging from ending poverty “in all its forms everywhere” to ensuring quality education and affordable and reliable energy and protecting the environment.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be adopted at a U.N. summit just before the annual meeting of world leaders at the General Assembly in late September.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the plan “seeks to ensure peace and prosperity and forge partnerships with people and planet at the core.”

The 17 new, non-binding goals will succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by world leaders 15 years ago.

Elaine Geyer-Allely, who monitored the U.N. negotiations for WWF, the world’s largest independent conservation organization, said the new plan is a significant improvement because it recognizes that protecting the environment, eradicating poverty and promoting economic growth and well-being are interlinked.

In his final report last month on the Millennium Development Goals, Ban said the effort has helped lift more than one billion people out of extreme poverty, enabled more girls to go to school than ever before and brought unprecedented results in fighting diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

But he said inequality persists, with 80 percent of the people living on less than $1.25 a day located in southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, with 60 percent in just five countries, India, Nigeria, China, Bangladesh and Congo.

Agreement on the new goals is the culmination of years of negotiations among U.N. member states.


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