This year’s observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty falls as the world embarks on a bold new path towards a future of dignity for all guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This year’s theme — “Building a sustainable future: Coming together to end poverty and discrimination” — highlights the need to focus greater attention on the excluded and marginalized members of the human family.
Spurred on by the global mobilization behind the Millennium Development Goals, the world has made extraordinary progress in reducing extreme poverty. Over the past 25 years, more than one billion people have been lifted above the poverty threshold.
Yet these gains have not reached everyone. More than 900 million people continue to live in extreme poverty, and many more are at risk. Climate change, violent conflict and other disasters threaten to undo many of our gains.
In adopting the 2030 Agenda, world leaders made a time-bound commitment to end poverty in all its forms, everywhere. Our ability to meet this call requires us to address discrimination in all its forms.
Leaving no one behind means ending the discrimination and abuse targeted at one half of humankind – the world’s women and girls. It means combatting overt discrimination against minorities, migrants and others – as well as the more insidious neglect of the disadvantaged, especially children. And it means ensuring access to the rule of law and protecting the human rights of all.
The 2030 Agenda emerged from the most inclusive process in United Nations history. Member states, millions of young people and thousands of non-governmental organizations, business-people and others were part of the discussions. As we look now to translate the 17 Sustainable Development Goals into meaningful action on the ground, we must sustain this spirit.
Ours can be the first generation to witness a world without extreme poverty, where all people – not only the powerful and the privileged — can participate and contribute equally, free of discrimination and want.