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Citizenship

2015: The year to make history

By Caroline Dollman|

2015 is not just an ordinary year. 2015 is THE pivotal year for Global Citizens to achieve the  goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. We need to make it clear to leaders that in 2015 their citizens are expecting them to raise their ambition for humanity and deliver bold agreements to tackle poverty, inequality and climate change. 

Why is 2015 different?

Well, this is the year when our world leaders get together to write their ‘to do lists’ for a generation. What comes out of these negotiations will reveal how ambitious they are – or aren’t – for the kind of world we can build together. 

As a Global Citizen, you have a vital role to play. 

You’re still being cryptic, what’s actually happening in 2015?

Sorry. 2015 is the year of two United Nation summits that can bend the course of history.

One in September, the UN General Assembly, will agree upon new goals – a new framework for humanity – to tackle poverty, inequality and environmental destruction. The other in December, the UN Climate Change Conference, will set new climate action targets, a crucial step towards a safer, more equitable planet. 

Don’t we already have goals to end poverty?

Back in 2000, world leaders pledged to eradicate global poverty, hunger and disease, all by 2030. To get the world on track for this goal, they set eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to meet by 2015 – and we’ve come a long way. 

The number of people living in extreme poverty has halved, over 90% of children in developing countries are now enrolled in primary school, and almost 2 billion people have gained access to an improved sanitation facility (which is industry-talk for a toilet or latrine… a clean, effective way to relieve yourself). 

But in many areas, we’re way off track the real goal for 2030. If we continue with business-as-usual, then millions of people will continue to miss out on the basic opportunities that everyone deserves. Things would continue to slowly improve, but gee… try delivering that as an upbeat message to the people being left behind.

So this is the year of decisions – where the world assesses how far we’ve come, and sets the framework for the next 15 years – building the roadmap that will dictate whether we can end extreme poverty by 2030, or not. 

In September 2015, the new framework and set of goals – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – will be announced, and we have to ensure they are ambitious enough to end extreme poverty by 2030. If ambitious SDGs are adopted, they could achieve huge things, including:  

1. An accelerated transition to 100% renewable energy, so that a safe climate and sustainable economy - with all its benefits for people and planet - is possible.

2. An end to alarming levels of inequality and discrimination, which we know destroys the lives of many - especially women and girls. 

3. An end to extreme poverty in all its forms by securing development and economic systems that benefit everyone – not only the privileged few. 

4. Securing a world in which everyone’s fundamental rights are met and realised, including access to nutritious food, clean water, essential services, and dignified employment. 

Alright, so what do I do about it?

Inspired by the unique opportunity that 2015 brings, Global Citizen has joined a movement called Action/2015 - a growing citizen’s movement of hundreds of organisations around the world coming together to demand truly ambitious agreements on poverty, inequality and climate change in 2015. 

Action/2015 will act like a megaphone, amplifying our work, and connecting us with an even larger network of people across the world. It’ll ensure that when political leaders meet and define their positions in the agreements in 2015, they will feel the intense and unavoidable pressure of millions and millions of people demanding that they take decisive and ambitious action.

Over the next year, we are going to need to give world leaders everything we’ve got. Creating the future we need will take increased campaign pressure from us - Global Citizens - to get world leaders to make and keep their commitments for a better world. 

Get ready for action in 2015!

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