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18th August marks the start of 500 days deadline for realising Millennium Development Goals and the launch of a new global campaign platform to end poverty. The Action/2015 Asia platform launched a series of interlinked public actions called "i Move Against Injustice, Inequality and Insecurity" to demand that local and global leaders deliver on promises to uphold the rights of every woman, man and child on the planet.
Designed as a broad and inclusive platform to inspire and mobilise individuals, organizations, social movements and other stakeholders to achieve a just, equitable and sustainable world, the campaign over the next one year will amplify voices and aspirations from the region to influence governments, businesses, institutions. Action 2015/Asia was founded by representatives of 31 civil society organisations from thirteen countries, including eleven international networks and platforms in May 2014.
Kicking off the campaign in India on August 18, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA), an umbrella coalition of over 4000 civil society organizations and networks, along with Oxfam India, Youth Ki Awaaz, Save the Children, Praxis, CANSA, JOSH, PAIRVI, Commutiny, Restless Development, NCDHR, VSO, National Social Watch, NCPEDP/DPI, Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion, RTE Forum and many others organized a 12 hour (9a.m. to 9 p.m.) tweet-a-thon to discuss the importance of the need to engage in a deeper and more prolonged conversation around the Millennium Development Goals. A tweet-a-thon is an online event where Tweeters focus on a particular issue. The response was phenomenal as the event saw an outreach to over 800,000 users globally within the 12 hours.
“There are still 500 days left to achieve the MDGs. India has made dramatic progress in bringing the under-5 mortality from 114 in 1990 to 52 per 1000 live births in 2012, showing a commendable decline of 58 per cent. However, India has persistently high rates of newborn mortality and accounts for 26.6 per cent of all newborn deaths globally, with 758,000 newborn deaths a year. Tackling newborn mortality is the last frontier yet to be conquered in achieving the targets,” said Shireen Vakil Miller, Advocacy Director for Save the Children, who also maintained that, “With a final thrust, India can indeed achieve them.”
Echoing these views, Amitabh Behar, Executive Director – National Foundation for India said, "The countdown for MDGs has begun with the final deadline only 500 days away. We need to put all our energies together with new vigour and enthusiasm in working towards the realization of MDGs. We also need to re-new our promises and forge a truly trans-formative global partnership for development with an ambitious agenda for post 2015 world which puts an end to any form of injustice, inequity and insecurity.”
"SDGs need to be strengthened by addressing inequality particularly caste based discrimination as well as other forms of social discrimination, which, is a matter of concern with regard to the issues related to Asia", noted Paul Divakar, General Secretary, National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights.
Highlighting on some of the key development challenges, Nisha Agrawal, CEO, Oxfam India, stated that, “The MDGs were a clear set of goals that led to a common agreement across the globe on what the development priorities ought to be for the period 2000 to 2015. Unfortunately in India, we are still very far from reaching many of the MDGs, especially some of the health-related ones. We need to redouble our efforts and try really hard to reach our global agreements.” She further added that, “These goals are for the whole country and require new and innovative solutions and new and innovative partnerships across the government, the corporate sector and civil society. At the same time, we need to start the conversation on what the next set of goals will be, which will be adopted for the next 15 years. In many areas, especially in the area of gender equality, the previous set of goals were not ambitious enough and we need to go much further in the next 15 years!”
The tweet-a-thon is only the first in a series of week-long plan of actions. Innovative campaigning using Google hangouts and blogs will add to the collective voice demanding clear action towards a more inclusive and equitable development.
Action 2015/Asia comes together at a critical moment to influence the global development goals when the region is plagued with myriad challenges.The list of injustices is endless - be it corruption, forced migration, crony capitalism, land grabs, catastrophic impacts of climate change, lack of access to justice, indecent wages and other exploitative business practices. Further, while violence against women and girls continues unabated, governments spend more on their militaries - US$22 billion in South Asia alone. At the regional level, the benefits of fast growing Asian economies are not equitably shared. The income gap between and within countries is growing. There are 444 dollar billionaires in Asia with the lowest ranking among them worth more than the 733 million, while poorest of Asians are living on less than 1.25 dollar a day.
Action 2015/ India: Oxfam India, Youth Ki Awaaz, Save the Children, Praxis, CANSA, JOSH, PAIRVI, Commutiny, Restless Development, NCDHR, VSO, National Social Watch, NCPEDP/DPI, Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, CBGA, The YP Foundation, COVA, PARA, RTE Forum and many other civil society groups
For more information, please contact Saswati Swetlena, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile No-+91 9971220062