Yesterday, Beyond 5 was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. In the year 2000, the United Nations set 8 goals for helping to eliminate extreme poverty. Collectively, these are the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) and the deadline for achieving them is 2015. Progress has been made in achieving these goals, but more work is needed. Furthermore, the world needs to look beyond 2015 and how to best move forward. The video below gives an overview of the MDGs and the progress that has been made.

Beyond 5 and other World Vision partners met yesterday to bring together faith leaders from across the country for the UN General Assembly. Dr. Azza Karam from the United Nations Population Fund opened by talking about the importance of the faith community in ending extreme poverty. Together, we talked about what the faith community can do and how we can lead, gave thanks for the progress that has been made and prayed for our leaders and wise decisions to help those most in need.

Vision International President and CEO Kevin Jenkins spoke at a separate event at the United Nations Headquarters on the value of the Millennium Development goals and the way we must move forward.

Meaningful improvement in the well-being of the world’s most vulnerable people will be a key measure of our success as leaders. There has never been a better time to take a firm stand and say that under our watch we will do everything possible to bring an end to extreme poverty, inequality and injustice.

Millions of the most disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised children have still not been reached by the MDGs — those with disabilities; those in fragile states; indigenous children; and those neglected simply because they’re female.

These children also bear the torch of hope for our future.

We have a little over 800 days. A deadline is a great incentive, so let’s not squander the opportunity.

As an organisation working in communities around the world, we have encouraged a process where children, families and local organisations have given us feedback on the MDGs and the Post 2015 process.

They tell us that we must now intelligently apply the lessons we have learned from what went right and humbly acknowledge the things we missed.

• Let’s respond to the cry of the 12 year old girl in a fragile state;

• Let’s bring freedom to the disabled boy kept hidden at home by a parent ashamed of the stigma he will suffer;

• Let’s get anti-retrovirals to the two-thirds of HIV-positive children who cannot access them now, and end that scandal;

• Let’s radically improve access to proper nutrition for the world’s poorest children. Proper nutrition may be the single intervention with the greatest possibility to impact outcomes in health, education and earning ability.

• Let’s shine a light into the dark world where children do back-breaking work or are sold for sex.

If we improve life for each of them, we will certainly make the world better for children everywhere.

Thank you.

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