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Media Statement | 25 September 2017


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Today, on the 2nd anniversary of the SDGs, thousands of people in 834 events in 109 countries and more than 3 million people on social media around the world are raising their voices and calling on world leaders to be accountable and to #ACT4SDGs.

It’s been two years since 25 September 2015, when UN world leaders agreed to a definitive plan for the planet and its people by adopting the Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

“Only if the people demand it will governments act” says Beckie Malay, Co-Chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) from the Philippines. Civil society organisations are organising 834 events from Manila to Buenos Aires, to Brussels and Nairobi.


image 2"People all over the world are calling attention to the many forms of inequalities everywhere - growing disparities in the incomes of the poor and the wealthy, limited access to education, health and basic social services, increasing vulnerabilities of the poorest to human-induced climate change and disasters, and the growing repression of human rights and civic participation in many countries. Agenda 2030, which aims for radical and transformational changes through the SDGs’ wholistic perspective of caring for people and planet to achieve prosperity and peace, will be imperilled if we don’t make our governments act on it,” says Malay.

“Today we should be celebrating, but the situation is worrying,” says Riccardo Moro, GCAP co-chair from Italy. “Social injustices are increasing and people are going hungry again. Last week the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) announced that after steadily declining, 815 million people are suffering from hunger in 2016 – 38 million more than 2015!”

This is unacceptable in these times of over-production and over-consumption in rich countries, skewed trade agreements, and the available sustainable agriculture methods that can be adopted for food production in lieu of increasing and massive corporate control of the food system. It is time to break the cycle of inequality in all our systems.

Today we want to share our concerns while leaders are gathered at the UN General Assembly.  If this lack of commitment continues, the SDGs will not be achieved by 2030.

We need action at all levels. First, we need to increase awareness, then public policies that create real changes to reduce inequalities in and between countries. We must also change production and consumption patterns, especially in the industrialized and the new emerging economies, in order to make development sustainable for the environment and for people.

We the People – starts the Charter of the UN, on this last day of this years’ General Assembly many people all over the world are showing their commitment and calling on their leaders and governments to act.
Salina Sanou, GCAP Co-Chair from Kenya, points out that the ambitious

Agenda 2030 can be only achieved if we ensure:
1. Social protection for all
2. Tax justice – especially including fair taxation of multinational companies and the rich
3. Progress for women’s and girls’ rights
4. Political participation and ensuring the freedom of civil society

“We don’t like rhetoric or empty slogans like ‘now or never’,” says Salina Sanou, “but we want to contribute and we are very worried for the threats to peace we are facing in too many areas of the world. There is no development without peace, there is no peace without development.”

Let’s act together!


Download the whole statement as PDF. 


You can find photos and stories from all parts of the world aggregated and showcased on www.act4sdgs.org. Some examples are included below!

Notes to editors: Please contact Ingo Ritz, Global Call to Acton Against Poverty (GCAP), ingo.ritz@whiteband.org, +32498412008 for interview requests, details of national mobilizations globally, or for any other questions.


We the People ACT4SDGs is a global campaign created by UN SDG Action Campaign, Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) and the Action for Sustainable Development civil society platform to create awareness and promote the SDGs among citizens. We are joining forces with civil society, volunteers, and citizens in more than 100 countries. Our movement is open and inclusive.  Everyone who shares our vision and wants to mobilize and engage citizens in their communities or around the world is invited to join our movement.

The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) is a southern-led movement that challenges the structures and institutions that perpetuate poverty and inequality. GCAP supports people in their struggles for justice and brings individuals and organisations together to challenge the institutions and processes that perpetuate poverty and inequalities. Together, we defend and promote human rights, gender justice, social justice, climate justice and the security needed for the dignity and peace of all.

Beckie Malay, Salina Sanou and Riccardo Moro are the three global Co-chairs of GCAP, Global Call to Action against Poverty. http://whiteband.org


Ageing Nepal



Event with 500 students of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and the Kilusan Kontra Kahirapan by Philippines Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM)/GCAP Philippines



Youth 4 SDGs Zimbabwe in cooperation with Network of African Youth for Development




SDGs Kenya Forum and GCAP Kenya


SDG Watch Europe – Elephant in the Room action in front of the European Commission, Brussels


Press conference - Alliance Contre la Pauvreté au Mali / GCAP Mali


Local SDG mapping exercise organized by the Shikoku Chapter of Japan Civil Network for the UN Decade of Biodiversity and co-organized by the Civil Network on SDGs (SDGs Japan)


Discussion organized by GCAP Italy at Roma Tre University


Anchor Street banners in all 15 districts of Buenos Aires – FOCO/GCAP Argentina

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Act4SDGs Press Statement of GCAP for 25 September 2017.pdf2.19 MB
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Act4SDGs - Impressions from GCAP National Coaltions and partners FR-1.pdf1.89 MB
Act4SDGs - Comunicado de prensa - GCAP - 25.09.2017 - ES.pdf730.05 KB