18 September 2015 - Christian, Islamic and Jewish leaders gathered at St Paul’s Cathedral in London today to urge the Prime Minister to ensure the UK plays its part in achieving new international goals to tackle poverty and inequality and protect the environment in every country.
The event took place one week before Heads of State gather at the United Nations in New York, to approve Sustainable Development Goals for the next 15 years. His Holiness Pope Francis will also visit the UN just before the Goals Summit meeting.
“We are here to ask Prime Minister David Cameron to use his power at home and internationally, to keep his promises and ensure that these new Goals change the lives of millions of people for the better,’ said Dr Husna Ahmad, CEO of Global One.
"The Goals have tremendous potential to do good but it will only be realised if leaders such as Mr Cameron put serious resources and determination behind them, as well as making plans for how they will implement them within their own countries.”
Dr Ahmad was joined at St Paul’s by Reverend Steve Wild, President of the Methodist Conference; Dr Jill Barber, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference; Ibrahim Mogra, Imam and Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain; Remona Aly, media consultant and former deputy editor of Emel magazine; Major Heather Poxon,
Director of International Development, Salvation Army; Phillip Clarke, General Secretary of Congregational Federation and Very Revd Michael Persson, Vice Chairman Lutheran Council of Churches and Rector of the Swedish Church in London.
The St Paul’s gathering was organised by Christian Aid.
Dionne Gravesande, Head of Church Advocacy at the charity, added: “One of the most important aspects of the new Sustainable Development Goals is their insistence on ‘leave no-one behind’. In other words, no Goal should be considered met unless it is achieved across all groups in a society.
“In a world so stricken with inequality and discrimination, that is a precious promise and I hope all faith communities will help to hold world leaders to it.”
Helen Dennis, Senior Adviser on Poverty and Inequality at Christian Aid, said: “There is a pressing moral imperative to address the global crises of poverty, inequality and climate change.
“We hope the Sustainable Development Goals will translate into meaningful action for the communities with which Christian Aid works around the world, and we are delighted to see faith leaders fully backing the new Goals.”
The Sustainable Development Goals will replace the existing Millennium Development Goals from the start of 2016. Around 130 Heads of State will attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week (25th – 27th September), to finally approve the new goals.
People of faith may be interested in the Prayer For Everyone action, which takes place from 24th September until 1st October and involves praying for the Sustainable Development Goals.
For further information please contact Joe Ware on 00 44 (0)207 523 2418 or email@example.com or 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950.
Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire
5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk