September 19 2013 Goals to Focus on Most Vulnerable Children "Put disadvantaged children at the heart of sustainable development" says the CEO of SOS Children´s Villages International as the 68th UN General Assembly gets underway SOS Children’s Villages International, the world’s largest NGO focused on children without parental care and families at risk, is calling for child well-being to be included at the core of the Post-2015 development agenda, with a particular emphasis on the most marginalized and vulnerable children. The call came as the 68th session of the annual UN General Assembly got underway in New York. The theme of this year’s General Debate, which begins on Monday, Sep 23, is: “The post-2015 development agenda: setting the stage”. UN Photo/Joao Araujo Pinto In parallel with the general debates, during which 89 heads of states are scheduled to deliver speeches, the CEO of SOS Children’s Villages International Richard Pichler will be attending several events on topics such as health, education and how to ensure that the new framework places special emphasis on the most vulnerable children. Among the events Richard Pichler will be attending is one organised by The United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) on Sep 22, entitled “Advancing Regional Recommendations on Post-2015: A Dialogue between Civil Society, Governments and UN Representatives”. SOS Children’s Villages International welcomed, in the recent UN Secretary General MDG report, A Life of Dignity for All, the following statement: “We must pay particular attention to the needs and rights of the most vulnerable and excluded, such as women, children, the elderly, indigenous people, refugees and displaced families, as well as people with disabilities and those living in poor rural areas and urban slums”. But SOS Children’s Villages International warned that urgent action and increased efforts to accelerate progress on the MDGs are still required. In the countdown to Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) achievement deadline of 2015, just 900 days away, it is crucial that continuing efforts to eradicate poverty and address inequality focus on the care and protection of children, SOS Children’s Villages International said. SOS Children’s Villages CEO Richard Pichler said: “If we are truly to make real, lasting progress towards global development and equality we must seek to ensure that no child is born condemned to a lifetime of poverty, discrimination and exclusion.” He added: “Now is the time to work together to build a world in which each and every child is provided the care and protection they are entitled to, so they can thrive and contribute to society. By investing in the wellbeing of children and establishing policies and measures that support them in developing their full potential, society as a whole benefits.” He noted that only by fulfilling the needs and rights of children, especially those most disadvantaged and marginalized, such as those without parental care, can an equitable society be created – one that can achieve sustainable social, economic and environmental development. This means correcting one of the MDGS greatest flaws: their failure to reach the most marginalized sectors of society – instead focusing on more visible, easily reachable groups of people. SOS CV has more than 60 years of experience working with marginalized children, young people and families.