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Clark: Millions Still Left Behind Despite SDGs

Clark: Millions Still Left Behind Despite SDGs
Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark (left) during the Face of Inequality campaign in Asia and The Pacific session at the 2017 International Civil Society week at the University of South Pacific on December 6, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar
December 08
13:44 2017

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a powerful tool but millions of people are still left behind, says Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.

“The poor, the homeless, the slum dwellers, the hungry… migrants and refugees, women and minorities, people with disabilities, indigenous people, people living HIV – there is a lot of people left behind” she said.

“Our role as a civil society is ensuring that all those voices come into the equation so the SDGs can action around them.”

Ms Clark, speaking at the International Civil Society Week in Suva, referred to the UN agenda that hopes to spur governments into action to end poverty and protect the planet.

“The SDGs are a transformation and possibly revolutionary agenda – if it’s not just an internationally agreed document that sits on a shelf somewhere,” former adviser of the United Nations Development Programme,” Ms Clark said.

The agenda which consists of 17 goals outlined by the United Nations, considers several global issues ranging from gender equality and climate change to peace and justice.

It is designed as an inclusive agenda for member countries to unite and “tackle the root causes of poverty”.

Ms Clark called on civil society organisations to be more proactive in helping local communities understand the intention of the agenda.

“Let’s be honest,” she said “we (those gathered) all know what SDGs are but if you got out to your societies they have no idea.”

“The problem is that this is a universal agenda but the level of awareness in developing countries is very low.”

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar



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