Restless Development has joined a thousand organisations from around the world on the launch of a new campaign called action/2015. It calls on local and world leaders to take urgent action to halt man-made climate change, eradicate poverty and address inequality.
The launch coincides with new research that reveals almost a billion extra people face a life of extreme poverty if leaders duck key decisions on poverty, inequality and climate change due to be taken at two crucial summits in New York and Paris later this year, with billions more continuing to face a life of hardship.
However with the right action, even using relatively conservative scenarios, the number of people living in extreme poverty – on less than $1.25 a day (82 pence) – could be reduced dramatically from over a billion to 360 million by 2030.
In the UK - where over 40 international charities are taking part* - some of Britain’s leading youth activists Bhavi Elangeswaran & Katie Knight travelled to Downing Street to meet Prime Minister David Cameron and demand he stands up and raises his ambitions to change the future for our people and planet.
Restless Development – [media briefings, Ed Miliband, photo stunt, policy workshop, campaign activities]
Across the globe other activities included:
· In India, young people are meeting their leaders in 15 states and over 150 districts to deliver their messages of hope for 2015.
· In Tanzania, 15 year olds will meet Vice President Mohamed Gharib Bilal to discuss their aspirations for the future and the action they want from political leaders in 2015;
· In Uganda young people will challenge the Speaker of Parliament to listen to their demands when they hand over a petition signed by over 10,000 young people;
Aftab Asghar, 24, a Restless Development volunteer on the International Citizen Service in South Africa, said:
"This time last year I was in a classroom in South Africa, since then I've been in classrooms in Lancashire, and what I've found is that regardless of where you are, young people are the most enthusiastic about being at the front of change, and that's why I'm getting involved in action/2015 with Restless.
“It was great today to get to speak to journalists about my experience, take part in a huge photo stunt that got the attention of people walking past, and learn about what else is going on across the world. It's been a day full of activities, but I know that this is just the start."
Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize winner who put her life on the line for the right to education said;
"People globally want an end to injustice, poverty and illiteracy. Our world is interconnected and youth are ready and mobilised more than ever to see real change take place," said Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Malala Fund co-founder Malala Yousafzai. "Together, we are demanding our leaders take action in 2015 and we must all do our part. I will continue to work tirelessly to call on world leaders to seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality primary and secondary education for every child. That is my goal and I hope that my voice will be heard as it is the voice of millions of children who want to go to school."
Alongside Malala, dozens of high profile activists from Bono to Ben Affleck, Bill and Melinda Gates and Queen Rania Al Abdullah to Mo Ibrahim have backed the coalition of over a thousand organisations in more than 120 countries around the world.
action/2015 is calling on the public to join them in their calls to ensure world leaders commit to a better world. Throughout 2015, the campaign will provide ways for everyone everywhere to get involved in influencing the outcomes of these global debates that could achieve:
· An end to poverty in all its forms;
· The meeting of fundamental rights, tackling inequality and discrimination
SO WHAT CAN YOU GET INVOLVED WITH?
2) Join the action/2015 UK Youth Panel. We will be recruiting 2 Restless panel members to join 18 other young people from 13 different charities and lead on activities to engage young people in the UK. More information and how to apply here!