United Nations Adopts Ambitious Sustainable Development Goals

Media Contact: Brendan Daly (202.794.1580)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 25, 2015) – Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) President Mark Shriver today applauded the United Nations for adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an ambitious agenda for ending extreme poverty and tackling inequality, during the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City.

“These global goals are essential in order to improve our world in the next 15 years,” said Shriver. “While each of the goals are important, I am particularly thankful that world leaders have prioritized the need to eliminate the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children through Goal 3: good health and well-being. Every day, 16,000 kids die from preventable diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea. By scaling up proven and inexpensive solutions, such as routine immunization or treatment for diarrhea and trained health professionals, we can save these lives and make sure moms and kids not only survive, but thrive.”

SCAN also welcomes the UN commitment to end all forms of malnutrition through Goal 2.

Two SCAN Student Ambassadors who have been actively involved in the global action/2015 campaign – an international campaign that has mobilized millions of people around the world to raise their voices to urge government leaders to commit to adopting SDGs – are attending UNGA.

Shriver also thanked President Obama and his Administration for making ending preventable maternal and child deaths a U.S. national priority.

“The White House has worked tirelessly to prioritize the lives of mothers and children around the globe and to make sure these ambitious goals and specific targets are in the final outcomes document that world leaders signed today at UNGA,” said Shriver. “We also have the support of members of Congress to make sure this goal is realized.”

Additionally, U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-ME, and Chris Coons, D-DE, recently introduced a bill that would complement the SDGs. It enshrines the goal to end preventable child and maternal deaths in U.S. global health and development policy.

The Reach Every Mother and Child Act is a bold, bipartisan bill supported by more than 20 diverse non-profit groups, including SCAN, working on ending maternal and infant mortality overseas. This crucial legislation can help dramatically reduce preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths worldwide –

helping achieve the U.S. commitment to substantially contributing to ending these deaths by 2030.

Since 1990, the number of deaths of mothers and children under age 5 worldwide has been more than cut in half. Mortality rates are declining faster than they ever have before. This is one of the great success stories in international development over the last 25 years. Progress has largely been achieved with simple solutions and proven, inexpensive interventions that address leading causes of death, including diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition and complications during pregnancy and birth.

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Save the Children Action Network is the political voice for kids. We believe that every child deserves the best start in life. That’s why we’re building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning and that no mother or child around the globe dies from a preventable disease or illness. By investing in kids and holding leaders accountable, we are helping kids from birth to age five survive and thrive.