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Charities urge leaders in poverty goals

28 March 2013


Summit: the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (centre), the President of Liberia,  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (left), and the International Development, Justine Greening, hold a joint press conference at the UN high panel meeting on post-2015 development in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, on Wednesday 

Summit: the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (centre), the President of Liberia,  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (left), an...

A GROUP of world leaders met this week to discuss plans for global development after 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will expire.

The High Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda (HLP), which was convened last year by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, met from Monday to Wednesday in Bali, for the fourth time (News, 16 November).

A coalition of charities, including Christian Aid and Greenpeace, ex-pressed disappointment last Friday that the Prime Minister would not be attending the meeting, despite being a co-chairman. The International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, went instead.

The charities said that the "post-2015 framework [for development] won't be fit for purpose if the environmental challenges faced by developing nations are ignored.

"Climate change, natural disasters, ecosystem decline and biodiversity loss present huge risks to sustainable development and poverty eradication, especially for the world's poorest, who depend on the natural environment for their survival."

Christine Allen, the policy and public-affairs director at Christian Aid, said: "We will not be able to eradicate poverty over the long term without dealing with environmental challenges. This means that the Prime Minister, as co-chair of the High-level Panel, must ensure that action to address environmental and resource challenges is integrated into any future development goals."

The Leprosy Mission England and Wales last week welcomed a statement by Mr Cameron that new development goals should include targets for disabled people. Its head of programmes co-ordination, Sian Arulanantham, said: "There is a growing body of evidence to demonstrate that you are more likely to be poor if you are disabled, and more likely to be disabled if you are poor. This is particularly evident in leprosy-affected communities. By putting an emphasis on the prevention of disability, millions of people who are on the brink of being left disabled because of leprosy will become a focus for the international community's attention. This can only lead to more treatment and better care."

The HLP will submit a report, containing recommendations, to the Mr Ban in May.

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