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Henri Sivonen
World News

Catholic aid agency calls for governments to work with faith groups to achieve sustainable development goals

Attended by heads of state and government from across the world this year's UNGA featured the first summit tracking progress towards delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since their adoption in 2015.  

Catholic aid agency CAFOD warned governments at the UN in New York they would not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals unless they work with faith groups at the heart of communities worldwide.

Director of CAFOD, Christine Allen, spoke in New York this week at an event called, 'Why faith actors are critical to achieving the 2030 Agenda', at the UNGA. She told Premier CAFOD's message is that "it is really important to work with faith communities in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

"No one can do it on their own, faith leaders and faith communities are ready, willing and able, we just need a better invitation. We also need for governments both nationally and locally to invite us in and to be part of the planning and part of the delivery."

In 2015, world leaders gathered in New York to agree a set of SDGs in order to make the world a better place. The goals include, reducing numbers of people in absolute poverty, improving nutrition, tackling inequalities, and to have a much more sustainable approach to care for the earth.

Christine Allen told Premier: "Organisations like CAFOD, Tearfund and Christian Aid, are engaging in the direct delivery of these goals and also in the political activity and in the political encouragement for government.

"We are also standing alongside Islamic Relief and Jewish relief, we are working together as faiths speaking out together, and I think that is a very powerful message. It is a powerful symbol that together as people of faith we want to build a better world. We do not want a world of exclusion of inequality, nor do we want a world of extremism. We want a world where we can work together to recognize the dignity of all human beings."

The 17 SDGs have been set to be achieved by 2030. Adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015, the SDGs are a call for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income, to promote prosperity while protecting the environment.

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