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A new campaign that kicked off this week warns that without action to curb global inequality countries round the world won’t achieve the UN goals that aim to end poverty and protect the planet – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs were adopted in 2015 and global leaders committed to achieving them by 2030.

The campaign, organised by 25 NGOs from 15 EU countries, was launched at the European Development Days – a special two-day conference on sustainable development hosted by the European Commission and attended by UN Deputy-Secretary General Amina Mohammed.

The campaign makes the case for societies to be more inclusive for women, children, different ethnic groups, marginalised people, and for EU citizens to become agents of change in their own communities.

Patrizia Heidegger, Director of Global Policies and Sustainability at the European Environmental Bureau – one of the NGOs behind the campaign, said:

We need policies and laws that aim to make our societies inclusive for women, children, different ethnic groups, and marginalised people, and for EU citizens to become agents of change in their own communities. If political leaders don’t tackle the inequalities that arise as a result of the huge environmental and social injustices facing our world then the Sustainable Development Goals will be meaningless.”

The campaign is part of the Make Europe Sustainable For All project which brings together NGOs that work on social issues, supporting farmers, stopping climate change, protecting the environment, defending women’s rights, young people, & gender equality, supporting fair trade, development, global justice, & workers’ rights.

The 17 SDGs include 169 targets covering areas such as climate action, environmental protection, and reducing inequality and poverty.