From "Millenium Development Goals" to "Sustainable Development Goals"

By: WFWP Japan

Biennial Report 2013-2014

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The Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP) is a women's NGO, founded in 1992, with the motto, "Humankind is a family living in one global home, the Earth." Since 1994, WFWP volunteers have been commissioned to serve in countries throughout the world. WFWP is committed to the achievement of freedom from poverty, as well as to implementing development cooperation activities based on local needs.

Since the year 2000, WFWP as a UN NGO, has sought to contribute through its activities to the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are universal goals of the international community in the 21st century. Henceforth, WFWP will tackle the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were adopted in September 2015.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, commented in the foreword of "The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014," "This report reaffirms that the MDGs have made a profound difference in people's lives." According to this report, world poverty was halved 5 years ahead of the 2015 deadline; ninety per cent of children in developing regions now enjoy primary education, and disparities between boys and girls in enrollment have narrowed; remarkable gains have also been made in the fight against malaria and tuberculosis; the likelihood of a child dying before age five has been nearly cut in half over the last two decades. This means that the lives of approximately 17,000 children are saved every day; the target of halving the proportion of people who lack access to improved sources of water has also been met. Even if all of the goals have not been attained, the MDGs have saved a tremendous number of people's lives. If there had been no MDGs in this world, the world would have definitely seen much more tragedies. Certainly, many challenges and issues that were not covered by the MDGs still remain in the world.

In particular, in view of recent conditions in which, so many lives have been lost due to huge natural disasters, we feel the need to have more interest in "climate change" and "environmental issues."

Furthermore, aging has become an issue throughout the world today. It has become accelerated in developing countries even more than in developed countries. It is said that by 2050, 80% of the population of elderly people, 60 years or older in the world, will be living in the developing areas. The United Nations designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons, to call attention to the problem of aging. Japan has already become an "aging society" and in 2013 its aging. Not only for children and youths, but the healthy lives of people of all ages must be secured as well.

In the past 15 years, various aspects of the world have also changed. Some issues that were not remarkable around the year 2000 when the MDGs were adopted, have now become more serious problems after 15 years. The resolution of all issues that reflect the economic and social aspects of the present time will certainly be demanded in the new development goals. With regard to support activities in developing areas, it would be meaningless to relieve people temporarily but the relief did not continue for a long time. Now that we have taken the trouble to attain the MDGs and improve the situation, the key word "sustainability" is extremely important so that conditions do not return to the original problematic situations. Thus, the UN has proposed the SDGs, carried out many international discussions at the "UN Sustainable Development Summit," and on September 25, 2015, it adopted the "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," including the SDGs as new international goals to be pursued from 2016 to 2030.

WFWP International Service Projects and Overseas Volunteer Activities welcomed their 20th Anniversary in 2014. WFWP volunteers have gone from Japan, continuing their activities for 20 years, including 15 years focused on the MDGs. They are certain and realize that "sustainable development" which brings real change is what defines meaningful support.

We wish to express our sincere appreciation for having been able to continue the work of the volunteers and WFWP members in mission countries for the past 20 years, with the cooperation of all WFWP International chapters, related UN organizations, governments, and other NGOs in each country.

This booklet is a summary of some of the activities by WFWP overseas volunteers from Japan and local WFWP members, carried out from 2013 to 2014. We hope that this will help you to better understand our endeavors to realize the MDGs and contribute to real world peace.