President Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union address yesterday and the White House released a copy of his speech minutes before he took the podium. And like most people, I rushed to read through the speech, looking for any mentions of ONE’s issues.
Though it was mostly focused on domestic issues, I was particularly struck by his opening remarks. President Obama spoke about how much our nation has changed over the last fifteen years and then challenged the nation: “It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next fifteen years, and for decades to come.”
The world has seen incredible progress in the fight against extreme poverty since the establishment of the Millennium Development Goals fifteen years ago. In fact, extreme poverty has been cut in half as a result of the MDGs, but much more must be done. This year, world leaders will develop the next set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) for the next fifteen years.
President Obama praised our nation’s team fighting Ebola, and Dr. Pranav Shetty, who has overseen two Ebola treatment units and a training center for health care workers in Liberia, was a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama in the gallery. But Obama also said “the job is not yet done — and the world needs to use this lesson to build a more effective global effort to prevent the spread of future pandemics, invest in smart development, and eradicate extreme poverty.”
We have an enormous opportunity in 2015 to move forward in the fight against poverty.
2015 is going to be a big year for ONE, and hundreds of other organizations who have joined together as part of action/2015, a global mobilization of groups speaking up and asking world leaders to commit to bold goals that will end poverty, erase injustice and ensure that all people are able to live a life of dignity.
Just last week, on January 15, action/2015 organizations took part in the launch of a year-long campaign in 64 different countries. Campaigners attended marches, rallies, vigils and concerts, and 15-year-olds met with their national leaders in cities around the world – from Abuja to Brussels and Dar es Salaam to DC, just to name a few – to discuss their hopes and dreams for a world without extreme poverty. Now we’re asking each of you to join us in demanding more from world leaders and to take part in building a better world.