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UNICEF NZ: The Global Goals forSustainable Development

UNICEF NZ: Transforming Our World - New Zealand, the Pacific and The Global Goals forSustainable Development

UNICEF New Zealand and the Council for International Development (CID) will co-host an event at Parliament on Tuesday, bringing together Members of Parliament, civil society and the NZ public, to explore the recently announced Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Adopted by New Zealand and 192 other countries in New York at the end of September, the 17 Global Goals are universal and as such New Zealand will be expected to consider them in domestic and international policy and practice and to measure progress against the associated targets and indicators.

Ahead of the event, UNICEF NZ’s Executive Director, Vivien Maidaborn, posed the question, “What do the Global Goals mean for the average Kiwi? The answer is quite a lot as they will likely have a direct impact here in New Zealand and in our Pacific neighbourhood.

“Sustainable development starts and ends with safe, healthy and well-educated children. Without that strong foundation, longer term progress cannot continue.

"Our hope at UNICEF NZ is that the Global Goals become both a framework and a tool for use by our Government to tackle issues related to child poverty (Goal 1 - No Poverty), gender equality for women and girls (Goal 5 - Gender Equality), and violence and abuse towards children (Goal 16 - Peace and Justice).

“Likewise in the Pacific region, increased focus is needed on issues that adversely affect children such as the impacts of climate change (Goal 13 - Climate Action), access to education (Goal 4 - Quality Education) and access to safe water (Goal 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation).”

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The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that launched in 2000 and end this year, have helped drive tremendous progress for children, proving how much can be achieved by galvanising global efforts around concrete, common goals.

We now live in a world where 53 percent fewer children die before their fifth birthday than did in 1990; where the number of people living in absolute poverty has been reduced by 900 million; where HIV and AIDS infection rates of children under 14 has been reduced by 58 percent since 2001; and where the rates of primary school attendance for girls are now equal to boys in many regions across the world.

While progress must be acknowledged, many challenges remain. Persistent gaps in opportunity – between rich and poor households, urban and rural communities, boys and girls, majority and minority groups – perpetuate vicious intergenerational cycles of deprivation and disadvantage and deepen rifts in society that harm us all.

Equity – a fair chance for every child to access the tools, services and skills they need to reach their full potential – must be a guiding principle in the implementation of theGlobal Goals.

Ms Maidaborn added, “We urge the NZ Government to ensure the implementation of the Goals from 1 January 2016 so that NZ can play its part in creating a better world for children.”

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