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Global Goals; Achievable for All?

28/09/2015 16:57 BST | Updated 25/09/2016 10:12 BST

17 years. The average time that a refugee is displaced from their home. Following that logic, the babies of Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, won't return to their home country, Syria, until they are adults.

Today, world leaders from 193 countries are gathered in New York. They are gathered to launch a new framework for Sustainable Development - a set of global goals that outline a shared vision for the next 15 years. Success sees a world in 2030 which is free from extreme poverty, hunger and inequality and universal in access to education, health care and energy. A brave new world.

So, as a refugee, displaced from your home for, on average, 17 years, how do you benefit from the transformation that world leaders are committing to deliver over the coming 15 years?

Crucially, the new Goals have a leitmotif; to 'leave no one behind'. It means that whether you are a girl or boy, living in a city or a homestead, rich or poor, in peace or war, able-bodied or not, these global goals won't be considered met unless they are met for you, for all. Including, and irrespective of, 'migratory status'.

But how realistic is it to say that all 79 million refugees can access all these opportunities? Or that the 1.5 billion people living in conflict affected countries can make anywhere near the progress being promised?

The track-record of the Millennium Development Goals (from 2000 - 2015) doesn't bode well. Despite huge efforts, 37 of the 55 most fragile and conflict affected countries, met just 1 or 2 of their 15 development targets. And over half of those countries on the list in 2005 remain there today. Fragility is stubborn. As a child living in Afghanistan, the DRC or Timor Leste, a decade hasn't made the difference required in terms of development.

And whilst many will say that the new Global Goals don't reflect the reality of conflict affected countries, there are reasons to be optimistic. For children living in conflict there are promises to provide education, to see no more child soldiers, to bring an end to violence, protecting them from harm.

Perhaps most importantly, the Global Goals, for the first time make a formal recognition that there is no peace without development and no development without peace. The most contentious of the Goals launched today - Goal 16 - promises to build peaceful societies, provide access to justice and deliver accountable institutions. Fine words. Finer, more resonant words come from one of the 100,000 children War Child worked with last year, 'I just want to grow up safe and grow up strong'.

That is 'The World We Want'.

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Learn more about how War Child is enabling children living in conflict to survive and thrive: www.warchild.org.uk