Over the past 15 years, the Millennium Development Goals have helped define and drive global action to reducing poverty, disease, hunger and malnutrition. Great progress has been made. The number of people living in extreme poverty has been reduced by more than 50 percent to approximately 1 billion people.
At the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 25, global leaders will agree on and announce a new set of development goals that will shape the fight against extreme poverty, injustice, environmental degradation and climate change for the next 15 years.
For this reason, the pope has chosen this day to speak. These goals have the potential to set a path by 2030 to help ensure that everyone gets to lead a life of dignity.
We must raise awareness about the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development to ensure that leaders deliver on their promises each year until the job is done. Unless our leaders feel the strength of people power behind the goals, they will be forgotten as quickly as they were drawn up.
These Global Goals, which represent a firm commitment by 193 nations, should be taught in schools and shared so that we can all pressure our leaders to achieve them.
The night before the new Global Goals are announced, thousands of people will stand in solidarity as a beacon of light calling on world leaders and citizens alike to light the way to ending extreme poverty, addressing inequality and fixing climate change.
On Thursday, at 7 p.m at Unity on the Bay in Miami, we’ll #LightTheWay Under ONE Sky. Join us and many civil-society partners such as ONE, CARE, Results, Bread for the World, One Billion Rising, UNA, Citizen’s Climate Lobby, Earth Justice and more to raise your voice. It’s going to take hard work to turn these aspirations into reality, and to ensure our leaders are held accountable.