As 2015 draws to a close, the world faces a clear cut choice.
In one direction, a well signposted path leads towards a promising future, one in which an increasing number of vulnerable communities could be lifted out of poverty, protected from injustice and allowed to flourish.
In the other direction lies misery for millions of people, who will continue to find themselves trapped in impoverished lives, at the mercy of forces beyond their control such as protracted conflict, worsening climate change and growing inequality.
Take that road, and the recent scenes in Europe, of thousands of people making perilous journeys to escape unendurable hardship, will in all likelihood become even more pronounced.
The route the world chooses to go down should be very clear, but that means replacing self-interest, both personal and national, with a genuine concern for the wellbeing of others, something to which it is all too easy to pay lip service, while avoiding the challenge.
This issue of Christian Aid Magazine highlights two key signposts that will help determine the direction of travel.
The Sustainable Development Goals, tabled for adoption at the UN General Assembly in September, are aimed at eradicating poverty by 2030, while leaving no one behind and safeguarding the planet.
These present governments with a series of development targets to pursue; whether or not they will do so is an open question.
And in December the UN Climate Change Conference takes place in Paris, at which carbon-capping mechanisms must be agreed if we are to stand a chance of limiting climate change and helping communities already dealing with its impacts.
The stakes are enormous, and we all have a part to play. Will the picture of a dead child on a European beach serve simply as a harrowing image that moves us for the moment, or will we truly heed it as a stark reminder that behind the headlines are real people who deserve so much better?
Chief Executive, Christian Aid