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End Extreme Poverty in 20 Years, Save the Children Urges UN Panel

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/08/13 -- A United Nations panel should use its influence by adopting a new plan to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, Save the Children says.

The High Level Panel - co-chaired by Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, and British Prime Minister David Cameron - will meet later this month to discuss a new system to replace the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015.

Save the Children's new report Ending Poverty in Our Generation outlines an ambitious new development framework which, it says, can help all countries end extreme poverty in the next 20 years. This is the first time that an organization proposes specific new targets to replace the MDGs.

"Ending extreme poverty in a generation is possible. We have an historic opportunity to end the devastating cycle of poverty that is at the heart of preventable death, chronic illness, inadequate educational outcomes, and thwarted opportunity for children around the world," said Save the Children's CEO, Patricia Erb.

The MDGs were eight international targets adopted by every United Nations member state in 2000 with commitments to tackle global ills such as extreme poverty, child deaths and a lack of free education. Progress has been mixed, with some developing countries on track to achieve all targets and others looking unlikely to meet any.

Ms Erb added: "The Millennium Development Goals succeeded in lifting 600 million people out of poverty and helped 56 million more children go to school. But there were gaps in that framework that must be addressed and we call on the UN Panel to commit to new targets to secure a prosperous, sustainable future for the world's poorest children."

The report says the end of extreme poverty is now in sight because of remarkable progress made in improving the lives of millions over the last two decades. For example, the number of under-five deaths worldwide declined from nearly 12 million in 1990 to under 7 million in 2011, and an additional 56 million children enrolled in primary school from 1999 to 2009.

The report warns of three major threats to the process:

   -  A failure to tackle inequality in the framework will mean progress    
      will be too slow and some groups will be left behind.                 
   -  A desire to cram too much into the framework leading to a lowest      
      common denominator outcome.                                           
   -  A fragmented and already fractious political process at UN level.     

Notes to Editors:

Read the report on our website.

The High Level Panel will meet in Monrovia, Liberia between 29th January and 1st February 2013. The High-Level Panel has been appointed by the UN Secretary General to advise him on development of a post-2015 framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.

As the High Level Panel prepares their agenda for Monrovia, Save the Children is today the first organization to put forward a proposed framework for consideration by the panel and governments around the world.

Save the Children proposes 10 goals:

--  Goal 1: By 2030 we will eradicate extreme poverty and reduce relative
    poverty through inclusive growth and decent work 
--  Goal 2: By 2030 we will eradicate hunger, halve stunting, and ensure
    universal access to sustainable food, water and sanitation 
--  Goal 3: By 2030 we will end preventable child and maternal mortality and
    provide basic healthcare for all 
--  Goal 4: By 2030 we will ensure children everywhere receive quality
    education and have good learning outcomes 
--  Goal 5: By 2030 we will ensure all children live a life free from all
    forms of violence, are protected in conflict and thrive in a safe family
--  Goal 6: By 2030 governance will be more open, accountable and inclusive 
--  Goal 7: By 2030 we will establish effective global partnerships for
--  Goal 8: By 2030 we will build disaster-resilient societies 
--  Goal 9: By 2030 we will ensure a sustainable, healthy and resilient
    environment for all 
--  Goal 10: By 2030 we will deliver sustainable energy to all 

The post-2015 framework should build on the strengths of the MDGs, including specific and measurable goals, targets and indicators. The framework should set common global aspirations (recognizing the importance of global cooperation) and allow countries to set national targets to suit their level of development.

The goals must achieve a balance of human development, economic development and environmental sustainability - the UN SG's 3 pillars of sustainable development - to ensure progress in human wellbeing is sustainable for future generations. We cannot reduce malnutrition without clean water. We cannot end preventable child deaths without cleaner air.

The framework must also address some important gaps in the MDG framework, particularly:

  ::  Inequality. Eradicating poverty and preventable child deaths require a
      dedication to reaching the hardest to reach. Income inequality        
      undermines long-term economic growth and inequalities between groups  
      of people pose a barrier to further progress in human well-being.     
  ::  Accountability. The MDGs lacked a robust accountability mechanism. We 
      propose a global mechanism to ensure global cooperation for global    
      development but ultimately citizens must hold their governments to    
      account, so there must also be national accountability mechanisms in  
  ::  Quality/ensuring access does not compromise outcomes. While the       
      current MDGs have rapidly improved school enrolments, in many schools 
      those students are not learning.                                      

Save the Children
Cicely McWilliam
647-291-1683 (m) or 416-218-1888 (o)

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