How the U.S. Helped the World Set New Targets for Prosperity

Nov 17, 2015, 13:04 ET from United Nations Association of the United States of America

NEW YORK, Nov. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by the United Nations Association of the United States of America:

A little over a year ago, Americans answered a call from U.S. leaders and the United Nations to help shape a plan to address the world's biggest problems; this fall, many of our ideas were realized. With the benefit of an unprecedented consultation of U.S. citizens and communities—50 across the U.S. in addition to 73,000 people who submitted views online—193 world came together at the UN General Assembly and  committed to 17 "Global Goals." These goals are a roadmap to achieve three extraordinary things in the next 15 years: end extreme poverty; fight inequality and injustice; and fix climate change.

The global goals are an ambitious set of targets for a world that's in need of ambitious solutions, and the U.S. should be proud to play a leading role in achieving them. From specific targets like hunger and poverty alleviation, to transparency in governance, access to safe drinking water, and improved education, these goals are not only necessary for our sustainability and prosperity as a planet; they are reflective of top American values. In fact, the goals reflect longstanding bipartisan foreign policy and development priorities that Congress and Republican and Democratic Administrations have championed.

What's more, the goals are built on an understanding of what works. Before UN member countries came together to set the goals, they gave thoughtful consideration to previous frameworks, notably the Millennium Development Goals. This earlier set of goals measurably moved the needle — lifting 600 million people out of extreme poverty; spurring primary education enrollment to reach 90 percent in developing regions; and ensuring 2.6 billion people gained access to improved drinking water.

With the new goals in place, the hard work begins. They are not part of any legally binding treaty, and they are not U.S. law. Nonetheless, they are a call to action in the loudest possible terms, and the world will be watching to see how the United States will lead.

Of course, Americans do not need to support or agree with each and every goal to appreciate the vital contribution they can make. However, sustained U.S. leadership in supporting the goals will ensure that we can maximize American generosity by leveraging our resources and expertise with the private sector, governments, faith-based organizations and non-profits to build a better and safer world for generations to come. In that, Americans can feel true pride in ownership. 

Contact: Amy Auguston, 212-907-1355


SOURCE United Nations Association of the United States of America