CAFOD warns Government as 1,000 day countdown begins

Catholic aid agency CAFOD has told the Government and the United Nations today, Good Friday, that urgent action is required to agree a new global plan to tackle poverty. Good Friday marks exactly 1,000 days until the start of 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed a decade ago are due to expire.

In a new report, “1,000 Days: an end and a new beginning”, the aid agency hails the progress made in many areas since the agreement of the MDGs, but says that work must begin urgently on designing a replacement framework.

In his foreword to the report, CAFOD Director Chris Bain writes: “We must seek to fill every one of the next 1,000 days with progress towards the outstanding targets. But whatever final achievements are recorded at the end of this period, 2015 must be a beginning not just an end. We must learn the lessons from the MDG process, and ensure that what replaces them is a new framework that builds on – but goes far beyond – the progress achieved by the MDGs.

“But let us be clear: 1,000 days is a tiny amount of time for a challenge of this scale. The British Olympics Association began work on its bid for the 2012 Olympics in 1997, over 2,500 days before the bid was accepted and over 5,000 days before the Games themselves.

“So the 1,000 days milestone is an opportunity but also a grave warning. If we do not start working right now, with the necessary clarity, urgency and resources required to achieve a strong outcome, we will reach 2015 with no effective global plan for tackling poverty: a betrayal of responsibility and an abdication of leadership that will rightly shame our generation.”

The report sets out a 10 point plan for a successful outcome to the post-MDG process. This includes recommendations to put environmental sustainability and extreme poverty at the heart of the new framework, as well as focusing on issues such as tackling inequality and addressing the needs of disabled people, which are not included in the current MDGs.

The report also insists that: “People living in poverty need to be directly engaged in debating and designing the new framework. Civil society leaders who represent these communities should have a seat at the table as decisions are made. Practically and morally, it is no longer possible to impose solutions upon poor people or countries, without their say-so or buy-in.”

CAFOD is the co-chair of the Beyond 2015 campaign, which has brought together 280 civil society organisations from over 70 countries to work on proposals for the post-MDG framework, and is recognised by the United Nations as the leading civil society initiative in this area.

Full copies of the 1,000 Days report are available now from the CAFOD website at:

Tags: CAFOD, MDGs, Millennium Development Goals

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