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Africa’s civil society push for “beyond 2015” agenda to UN General Assembly

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By Staff Writer

newsdesk@greatlakesvoice.combeyond 2015

Kigali, Rwanda – Civil society organizations across Africa call on their leaders attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to be held in New York from 16 September to 1st October 2014 to aim higher for a truly transformative development agenda beyond 2015 that puts people and the planet at the center.

In 2000, the world leaders agreed on a set of 8 goals for reducing poverty and inequality by 2015: The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As we near the expiration date for these goals, it is clear that the world is now a very different place to when the MDGs were designed: the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen in every developing region, including sub-Saharan Africa (UN DESA), climate change impacts are being felt around the world, inequality is on the rise and economic crises are still hurting many. Much remains to be done to create an equitable and sustainable world where every person is safe, lives well, and enjoys their human rights, and where political and economic systems deliver well-being for all people within the limits of our planet’s resources.

Busingye Louis, The Programs Coordinator at Human Rights First Rwanda Association) said: “This September, we have a once in a generation opportunity to achieve change and raise the level of ambition for a truly transformative post-2015 agenda which puts people and the planet at the centre. The United Nations General Assembly will see Governments of the world meet to discuss what should be on the 2015 development agenda.

This event is a unique occasion for us to ensure that the global agenda is not defined without an African input and that the post-2015 development framework be a truly universal and balanced agenda that is applicable to all; that addresses the freedom from want and from fear; that is consistent and aligned with all human rights, that addresses pervasive inequalities and dismantles discrimination, that is built on strong accountability mechanisms and a renewed strong and equitable global partnership, and an agenda that fosters policy coherence and allows free and meaningful participation for all.”

Beyond 2015 and Human Rights First Rwanda Association are calling on the world’s leaders to establish new goals that reflect the reality of the world we now live in and focus our efforts on making a better world for everyone through to 2030.Pst 2015 Carachters

To achieve meaningful and transformative change not only requires an ambitious and common framework which can mobilise governments, civil society, parliaments, businesses, and most importantly, PEOPLE; but also a real commitment from governments and decision-makers. So, as the drumbeat builds, what is it that people around the world want from these post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals?

Beyond 2015, a campaign by over 1000 civil society organisations in more than 130 countries, and (Human Rights First Rwanda Association) have joined with others to find out. Local, national, regional and global deliberations, coupled with long term participatory research by those most affected by poverty and injustice, have shown us that there is a strong consensus on wanting a strong and legitimate framework that: Is capable of powerfully challenging inequality, poverty, environmental destruction and climate change; Recognizes that peace, stability and human rights are crucial to achieving equality and dignity; Leaves no one behind; Does not demand impossible choices of the poorest and most vulnerable;

Provides hope; Recognizes and strengthens the networks that hold people together.

Thus, Beyond 2015 and Human Rights First Rwanda Association call on our leaders at the UN General Assembly to ensure that people everywhere around the world are given the ability to influence and impact on the decisions that affect their lives and to listen to the voices of the people and support their involvement in the design, implementation and monitoring of these new goals that will shape sustainable development for over a decade to come. The challenge begins NOW.

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