World leaders today (25 Sept) set out an agenda for meeting the outstanding Millennium Development Goals and establishing the next set of goals after 2015.
Marg Mayne, Chief Executive of international development charity VSO International, said in response:
“World leaders today set a clear and ambitious agenda, but they must live up to their bold rhetoric. The danger is that we have now reached the high-water mark in terms of ambition and engagement. Ultimately, people in poverty will rightly judge world leaders on their actions and on real changes in their life chances.”
On gender equality, she said:
“World leaders have today recognised the central role of gender equality and women’s empowerment in tackling global poverty. Women and girls make up almost two thirds of people living in extreme poverty, yet they have the least say over what is done to tackle it. That must change. The good intentions shown today must now be translated into a firm commitment. The next set of development goals must include a dedicated goal and targets on gender equality, including women’s involvement in public and political life.”
On the inclusion of civil society, she said:
“The future of the world’s poorest people is far too important to be left to behind-the-scenes political bargaining. World leaders have made a commitment to involve civil society in the next steps of the process. This must include civil society organisations led by and involving people from poor and marginalised communities. It is particularly important that local, national and international women’s organisations are consulted through UN and state-led consultations.”
Contact the VSO press office on 020 8780 7640 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Journalists with urgent out-of-hours queries, call 07500 918478.
VSO’s report, Women in Power: Beyond access to influence in a post-2015 world, is available atwww.vso.org.uk/womeninpower See: #VSOWomenInPower for updates.
Marg Mayne, Chief Executive of VSO International is available for interviews, briefings and written comment.
VSO has returned volunteers in the UK available for interview.
VSO can provide photographs and supporting materials to illustrate its work with women in Cameroon, Tanzania and Nepal.
VSO – Voluntary Service Overseas is an international development organisation that brings people together to share skills and knowledge. VSO volunteers work in whichever fields are necessary to tackle poverty – from education and health through to helping people learn the skills to make a living. They invest in local people so that the impact they make endures long after their placement ends. VSO recruits skilled volunteers from countries in the global north and global south, as well as supporting the growth of volunteering within developing countries. www.vso.org.uk