To Pa­cific

A roadmap In­tro­duc­ing the Global Goals for Sustainable Devel­op­ment Story by By Dr. Karen Allen, UNICEF Pa­cific Rep­re­sen­ta­tive

Island Life - - Out To Lunch -

Ev­ery now and then, an idea comes along that can change the course of his­tory. Fif­teen years ago, global lead­ers em­braced one such idea, join­ing forces to tackle some of the big­gest prob­lems fac­ing the world’s most dis­ad­van­taged coun­tries, in­clud­ing those in the Pa­cific. The re­sult was the Mil­len­nium Devel­op­ment Goals (MDGS), a co­or­di­nated global ef­fort to re­duce poverty and ad­dress bar­ri­ers to hu­man devel­op­ment. While at­tempts had been made to bring about change on these is­sues in the past, the MDGS were one of the first truly global ef­forts on a di­verse set of in­ter­linked goals. Eight goals were iden­ti­fied and a fif­teen-year time­frame was set. There’s no doubt the MDGS were am- bi­tious; a set of goals that has ‘Erad­i­cate ex­treme poverty and hunger’ as the first item on its ‘ To do’ list couldn’t be de­scribed as any­thing else. Fif­teen years later, how­ever, the MDGS will be re­mem­bered as the most suc­cess­ful anti-poverty move­ment in his­tory. The proof is in that ‘am­bi­tious’ first goal. In 1990, nearly half of the de­vel­op­ing world (1.9 bil­lion peo­ple) lived in ex­treme poverty. The num­ber of peo­ple now liv­ing in ex­treme poverty has de­clined by more than half, fall­ing to just 836 mil­lion in 2015. The ex­pe­ri­ence over the last fif­teen years has proven that im­mense change is pos­si­ble when we work to­gether to achieve de­fined goals. We can right­fully cel­e­brate huge achieve­ments linked to the MDGS,

glob­ally and in the Pa­cific re­gion.

In Ocea­nia, we’ve wit­nessed a drop of 51 per cent in the num­ber of preg­nant women dy­ing be­fore or dur­ing child­birth over the past two decades. Pri­mary school en­rol­ment rates have jumped from 69 to 95 per cent. Progress has also been made in pro­tect­ing marine ar­eas, which helps to pre­vent loss of bio­di­ver­sity, main­tain food se­cu­rity and wa­ter sup­plies, strengthen cli­mate re­silience and pro­vide ser­vices for hu­man well­be­ing. These are all achieve­ments wor­thy of cel­e­bra­tion. New goals for a new era. We have achieved so much in the last fif­teen years, but there’s more to do. Sev­eral as­pects of the MDGS re­quire fur­ther work – and even more am­bi­tious tar­gets

Pre­vi­ous page: Mary with her last born Moses, by their home pre­par­ing din­ner. UNICEF pa­cific/2006/pirozzi. This page top: Mil­len­nium Devel­op­ment Goals Sum­mary. This page bot­tom: Global Goals for Sustainable Devel­op­ment sum­mary.

can be set on old and new is­sues, now that we know what is pos­si­ble. That’s why, on 25 Septem­ber 2015, 193 world lead­ers, in­clud­ing all Pa­cific lead­ers, met once again in New York to agree on new goals; the Global Goals for Sustainable Devel­op­ment (‘Global Goals’). The sev­en­teen Global Goals are de­signed to achieve three ex­tra­or­di­nary things in the next fif­teen years: end ex­treme pov-

Top: Manasseh So­gavare, Prime Min­is­ter of Solomon Is­lands, ad­dresses the gen­eral de­bate of the Gen­eral Assem­bly’s Seven­ti­eth Ses­sion. UN Photo/amanda Vois­ard. Mid­dle: Chil­dren use a newly-in­stalled wa­ter tap. UNICEF Pa­cific/2014/al­cock. Bot­tom: Members of the Van­u­atu Mo­bile Force re­build a class­room that had been badly dam­aged by cy­clone Pam. UNICEF Pa­cific/2015/mc­garry. is pos­si­ble – and we only need to look for­ward to un­der­stand what lies at stake if we do not act col­lec­tively to­wards a health­ier, more pros­per­ous and equal future for all. As for cli­mate change, we only need to look around us to see its im­pacts. The Pa­cific has long been at the fore­front of cli­mate change ac­tion, largely be­cause our homes, health and future are forever linked to the health of our cli­mate and oceans.

What do the Global Goals mean for the Pa­cific?

Even a cur­sory glance at the new Global Goals re­veals their strong con­nec­tion to Pa­cific concerns. Goals one to six link to uni­ver­sal devel­op­ment chal­lenges that ev­ery Pa­cific na­tion is grap­pling with. It is no co­in­ci­dence that they also tip their hats to the un­fin­ished busi­ness of the MDGS. While im­mense progress has been made, these devel­op­ment chal­lenges re­quire sus­tained and com­mit­ted ef­forts through gen­er­a­tions. In the Pa­cific, there are still too many peo­ple liv­ing in ex­treme poverty, too many who are mal­nour­ished, too many risks as­so­ci­ated with child­birth, too many women who are paid un­equally or ex­cluded from opportunities to en­gage in fair work and too many chil­dren dy­ing be­fore their fifth birth­day. Far too few peo­ple in the re­gion have easy ac­cess to clean drink­ing wa­ter and, in the case of low-ly­ing atolls like Kiri­bati, what lit­tle wa­ter they do have is at risk of be­com­ing con­tam­i­nated by salt wa­ter. If we want to look crit­i­cally at the sta­tus of women in the Pa­cific, we need to look no fur­ther than the fact that just 4.4% of seats in Pa­cific par­lia­ments are held by women; the low­est per­cent­age in the world. As we look to the next fif­teen years in our col­lec­tive devel­op­ment jour­ney, it is im­por­tant that we build on, and con­sol­i­date, the suc­cess we have achieved as a re­gion; Global Goals 1 to 6 sup­port us to keep our eye on the ball.

When we look closely at Goals 7 to 16 we see where the full name of the ‘Global Goals for Sustainable Devel­op­ment’ has come from. These goals are about pre­par­ing our world and re­gion for a chal­leng­ing, chang­ing and com­plex future. These goals fo­cus on pro­tect­ing our oceans, our land, our cli­mate and our peo­ple. They are also about en­sur­ing that our cities are safer and more sustainable places, as more and more peo­ple drift to­wards them. In the Pa­cific this trend has been hap­pen­ing for some time, with sig­nif­i­cant ‘ur­ban drift’ within and be­tween coun­tries. For the first time, one of the Goals (#16) also fo­cuses on ac­cess to jus­tice for all, and build­ing effective, ac­count­able in­sti­tu­tions at all lev­els. Cor­rup­tion, a big hidden bar­rier to devel­op­ment, is firmly in the crosshairs with the Global Goals. Last, but by no means least, Goal 17 fo­cuses on strengthening a global part­ner­ship for sustainable devel­op­ment. The Global Goals are BIG goals – big­ger than any in­di­vid­ual, or­gan­i­sa­tion, com­pany or gov­ern­ment. In or­der for us to suc­ceed by our 2030 dead­line we must work to­gether, shar­ing our re­sources, ex­per­tise, ef­forts and lessons learned as we work to­gether to­wards the world’s first, truly global goals. Dunya Mau­moon, the Min­is­ter for For­eign Af­fairs of Mal­dives stressed the need to en­cour­age holis­tic and stronger part­ner­ships with Small Is­land states when the Global Goals were launched in Septem­ber 2015, say­ing “We are ready to be part of the so­lu­tion. In Samoa last year, the Small Is­land De­vel­op­ing States (SIDS)

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