Five things to love about the new global goals

The Sustainable Development Goals are finally here – and they have the potential to end poverty.

Girls are now front and centre in a new global strategy to end poverty.World leaders committed $25bn at the UN last weekend to achieve 17 goals, including one that aims to ensure equality for girls.

These are our highlights from the New York summit…

1. Girls are no longer a side issue

Malala gave yet another inspiring speech at the opening of the UN General Assembly, but she’s not a lone voice any more. She was flanked on stage by more than 100 girls, and we heard their voices everywhere we went throughout the weekend – including Saturday’s Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, which was broadcast to the world.

2. A deep understanding of the issues

Money alone is not enough; we must invest wisely. That’s why it was so encouraging to hear leaders speak with a clear commitment and understanding of the issues girls face. The UK government, for example, pledged to get 6.5 million more girls in school. But they also recognised the need to tackle complex social, economic and cultural issues to achieve that. Watch out FGM and child marriage.

3. Irresistible economics

The World Bank, the UN, Barack Obama… the world’s most respected voices were united in support for a simple truth: investment in girls is the best ingredient for economic growth.

4. No excuses

More than 70 world leaders committed to fighting for gender equality. From presidents and prime minsters to the Pope, we heard public promise after public promise. There’s no going back.

5. The future starts now

#62million - a campaign launched by Michelle Obama – shows how much work is still left to do. But if the new goals are implemented properly, and if we collect the right data to measure their impact, we could ensure that a girl born today will live in a very different world by the time she’s 15 in 2030.