Today marked the publication of the UN High Level Panel Report on the post-2015 development agenda. Titled A New Global Partnership, the report is an important milestone in the consultation process leading to the UN MDG Summit in September 2013, when world leaders will decide on the global agreement which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) upon their expiry in 2015 and guide global development efforts until 2030.
The new framework aims to build on the success of the MDGs – which have achieved ahead of schedule the aim of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty – but also to fill in perceived gaps, such as the importance to development of good governance and institutions, on which the MDGs were silent. The report makes some significant, albeit imperfect, steps in both directions – it is admirably ambitious in proposing the elimination of extreme poverty by 2030, and the stronger focus on governance, environmental sustainability, gender equality and inclusive growth are all welcome additions. Irish readers may be interested to note that the issue of tax avoidance, which is estimated by inequality campaigners to cost developing countries $900 billion per year (around seven times their aid inflows), was frequently referenced, although the paper fell short of recommending concrete targets.
However, as a child-focussed charity, ChildFund’s primary interest is in seeing the interests of children represented. To this end, we established the Free From Violence and Exploitation Campaign to raise awareness on abuses of children’s rights – for instance of the fact that 150 million girls and 73 million boys worldwide are raped or subject to sexual violence each year – and to call for the inclusion of a specific clause to address this unacceptable situation.
Thousands of people have already signed our petition to include child protection in the post-2015 agenda, and in March we presented our case directly to governments and UN representatives at a meeting in New York. We are heartened to see the impact these efforts are having, with the report recognising children’s “particular vulnerability to violence, exploitation and abuse”, and proposing “a target to eliminate all forms of violence against children”.
This is a major breakthrough in the fight to end abuses against children; however the journey does not stop here. ChildFund will continue to keep up the pressure to ensure that this proposal becomes a concrete commitment in the final global agreement, and that it receives the attention and resources required to make our vision of a world free from violence and exploitation a reality. If you want to add your voice, you can:
Finally, if you want to protect children from violence and exploitation, there is no better way than to sponsor a child.