Governments have made several major breakthroughs in talks about what should replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2016 – although there are still challenges ahead, says Christian Aid.
"It is extremely encouraging that governments have agreed that the new goals should include some absolutely crucial ingredients for a better future", said Helen Dennis, Christian Aid’s Senior Advisor on Poverty and Inequality.
"The major breakthroughs include the recognition that all countries, including rich ones, should have to work towards the new goals and that there should be only one set of goals covering both poverty and environmental protection."
Ms Dennis added: "Also very welcome is the acceptance that whilst all countries are responsible for protecting the environment, rich, high-consuming ones must do more – this is the principle of common but differentiated responsibility."
The latest proposals come in the Outcome Document agreed by governments meeting at the Special Event at the UN General Assembly in New York today (26 September).
The Document sets out the two-year process for agreeing on the goals which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire at the end of 2015. It follows extensive UN-led consultation over the last year, with one million people globally, including civil society, academia and business.
Ms Dennis added: "It is vital that these important principles are retained as work to define new goals continues. Nothing is guaranteed and we will have to keep fighting for goals that drive the kind of structural transformation we want to see.
"The new goals could affect billions of people’s lives, including those living in poverty in the UK – so getting them right could not be more important.
"We are keen to see proposals that put even more emphasis on tackling the world’s growing economic inequality, as well as persistent gender inequality."
She concluded: "There will also have to be a future conversation about how to pay for the achievement of the goals. Christian Aid believes that tax justice is a crucial part of the answer."