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Civil society groups gear up for MDG closing, push for inclusive growth

A group of Philippine civil society groups and nongovernment organizations has launched a coalition that will tackle the United Nations' new development agenda following the closing of the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) next year.

Launched exactly 500 days before the conclusion of the MGDs, the coalition aksyon/2015 is composed of organizations such as Action Against Hunger (ACF) Philippines, Beyond 2015 Philippines, Caucus of Development NGO Networks (Code NGO), Civil Society Counterpart – Council for Sustainable Development (CSC-CSD), the Foundation for Sustainable Society Inc. (FSSI), Global Call to Action Against Poverty- Philippines (GCAP Philippines), Green Research, Plan International Philippines, Social Watch Philippines, and World Vision Philippines.

It seeks to engage civil society network organizations in the Philippines to work towards influencing the post-2015 development agenda. One of its goals is to have inclusive growth and sustainable development included in the new tenets that the United Nations may put up after the MDGs.

"Kailangan po i-demand natin ang goals na 'yan sa ating mga kasama. Ang ginagawa po natin naglulungsad tayo ng kampanya para maabot natin ang publiko," the coalition's convener Beckie Malay said in a press conference in Quezon City on Tuesday.

The local campaign is also part of a larger international campaign, action/2015, led by the Global Call to Action Against Poverty.

"We really have to act and we really have to campaign… Even if there is an economic growth in the Philippines, there is a lot of inequalities that are happening just like inequalities are happening round the globe," Malay said.

Post-MDG goals

The UN describes the MDGs as an ambitious 15-year roadmap signed by world leaders in 2000 to fight poverty, hunger and disease, protect the environment and expand education, basic health, and women's empowerment.

Last month, the United Nations came up with the 17-point Social Development Goals, called "Zero Draft," which will replace the MDGs as goals that should be attained by 2030.

These are:

Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all

Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all

Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. — BM, GMA News