From September 25th through 27th 2015, heads of state from around the world will meet at the U.N. in New York to agree on a new roadmap for human progress over the next 15 years as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs differ from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) because of:

1.      Sustainability – The MDGs dealt with just development, while the SDGs deal with sustainable development;

2.      Universality – The MDGs dealt with only developing countries and the SDGs deal with all countries;

3.      Inequality – The MDGs attempted to halve those in poverty and the SDGs are committing to end poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030 by starting to address the great inequality.

One important criteria for the SDGs to succeed is the availability of resources.  We know that investing in children to protect them from abuse and neglect, in development and emergency contexts, is good value for money.  Solutions exist but need to be scaled up.

One of the next major governments’ meeting is in Addis Ababa in July for the Financing for Development Conference.  This conference must establish a solid financial framework to support the implementation of the SDGs by governments and “leave no one behind”.  In November and December, the U.N. climate change talks in Paris must give a good road map on climate.  This is critically underpinning to all of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Two weeks ahead of the Financing for Development Conference, the Secretary general of Terre des Hommes, Ignacio Packer was invited to deliver a key note speech on the international environment and investing in the future at the public health annual conference in Newcastle (UK).

“Cost-effective solutions to reduce abuse and neglect exist but need to be scaled up.  Money matters but not investing enough today will have higher financial and social costs tomorrow.”

See presentation 

By the end of 2015, governments will have agreed upon the direction for the SDGs. The job for the rest of us is to hold them accountable to what they have agreed and recognize that we all play our role in delivering this agenda.