The start of a new year is a time for hope, and I'm especially hopeful this year because of the historic opportunities we have to help millions of people move from poverty to prosperity.
This is no small task, but by working together in support of the United Nations, we've seen time and time again that tangible progress is possible: whether it's cutting child mortality by nearly half since 1990, distributing a record number of anti-malaria nets last year, putting the rights of adolescent girls on the global agenda like never before, giving millions of additional women access to family planning, or helping spur action to combat climate change.
Our work is not done though, and this year the stakes are even higher.
In 2015, world leaders are working with the UN toward two outcomes that will shape the future for generations to come: the creation in September of the next set of global goals to follow the Millennium Development Goals, and the culmination of critical climate change negotiations in December.
While world leaders will negotiate the agreements, success requires all of us to get involved now. Leaders must know that we are paying attention to what happens -- and that we are invested in their success.
Translating the 2015 agreements from words into real change will require every country, every sector, and every community. The UN Foundation will mobilize to support the UN and partners in seizing the opportunities of 2015. This includes:
• Communicating: Animating a global movement to build a world of support for the world's goals;
• Connecting: Linking individuals, companies, NGOs, and other stakeholders to the UN and the 2015 processes;
• Convening: Serving as a convener to identify areas of agreement, exchange ideas, and drive action on important issues; and
• Campaigning: Continuing to strengthen and build on the work of our campaigns and initiatives, which are helping the UN make progress on global challenges.
We recognize that the road ahead will not be easy. The goals of peace, prosperity, and a healthy planet are all closely linked, and to achieve success on one, we must address all three. But difficulty is no excuse for inaction - and we know for sure that the team that sits on the sidelines never wins the race.
The UN is at the front lines of today's challenges and tomorrow's opportunities and has opened its doors to partners who want to join a movement for change. Now is the time for all of us to stand with the UN for a better future.
If we act, 2015 can be a year for the history books. It can be the year that we put the world on the path to end extreme poverty; the year we place sustainability at the heart of our future; and the year that we agree that every person should be able to lead a life of dignity and opportunity.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the UN, and I've been looking to one of America's earliest UN supporters, Eleanor Roosevelt, for inspiration. She wrote, "The world of the future is in our making. Tomorrow is now." Her words have never rung truer.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place