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NEED A SOURCE: Sustainable Development Goals – a new global agenda for a more equitable world

TORONTO, CANADA, September 10, 2015 – The acute plight of Syrian refugees has captured our nation’s attention, starkly demonstrating the need for building a more inclusive, just and safe world for everyone. On September 25 to 27, Canada will join the international community at the UN headquarters in New York to adopt a set of global goals aimed at doing just that, and transforming our world in the process. The 17 Sustainable Development Goal – or SDGs – will guide collective action by developing and developed countries alike to address our most pressing common issues over the next 15 years.

Plan Canada has been involved in the extensive process of developing the goals, and is available for insight and commentary:

  • Marie Staunton, Plan Canada’s interim President and CEO – she will be attending the historic Summit in New York and is available for comment about the impact of these goals.
  • Amanda Sussman, Plan Canada’s Head of Policy and Advocacy – she can provide insight as to what SDGs mean in the Canadian context, achievements to date, the challenges ahead, and what role Canada and Canadians can play.

The SDGs were born out of a truly global conversation to identify the biggest challenges that affect us all, no matter what part of the world we call home. They are a blueprint for creating a safer, more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable society by addressing issues such as poverty, access to education, health, gender equality, the environment and the resilience of communities in the face of emergencies and disasters.

“In 2000 the world agreed on common goals to end global poverty. Canadians should be proud of our part in this unprecedented global effort which brought more than 1 billion people out of poverty, helped more than 40 million children go to school, and drastically reduced the number of women and children dying in pregnancy and childbirth,” said Marie Staunton, Plan Canada’s interim President and CEO. “But there is far more work to be done and these successes should inspire us to finish the job by 2030.”

This set of 17 goals is ambitious, but achievable. We only have to look back at the Millennium Development Goals – or MDGs – established in 2000. The past two decades represent the most successful anti-poverty push in history:

  • Extreme poverty has been reduced by half
  • The number of children dying before their fifth birthday has been reduced by more than half
  • The global maternal mortality rate has declined by nearly half
  • The proportion of people without access to safe drinking water was halved, five years ahead of schedule
  • The number of out-of-school children of primary school age worldwide has fallen by almost half

With the support of ordinary Canadians, Plan works with partners in more than 70 countries around the world to promote girls’ rights, create opportunities through equitable education, provide critical care to pregnant women, new mothers and babies, and support communities in creating a sustainable future. In 2014 alone, Plan implemented over 5,000 projects, benefiting nearly 165,000,000 people.

Canada has played a leadership role in bringing issues such as maternal and child health, child and forced marriage, and girls’ rights to the forefront. And Canadians want to see our country continue to make a positive impact on the global stage. A recent national survey1 commissioned by Plan Canada found:

  • An overwhelming majority of Canadians surveyed – 89% – believe it is important for Canada to be a leader on foreign assistance.
  • Canadians want to empower the next generation to help our country lead: 95% of those polled think youth should be educated and engaged to take action on global development issues.
About Plan and the Because I am a Girl initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. Because I am a Girl is Plan’s global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty. Visit and for more information.

Media contacts

Abigail Brown, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan Canada
T: 416.920.1654 x277 | C: 647.971.3764 |

1National omnibus survey of 1,118 Canadians was conducted by H+K Perspectives between July 16 –21, 2015