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Friday, 23 May 2014

The MDGs are going to be over soon: What’s after 2015 ?

“Our vision and our responsibility are to end extreme poverty in
all its forms in the context of sustainable development and to have in
place the building blocks of sustained prosperity for all.”                                     
-Monrovia Communiqué of the High Level Panel, February 1, 2013

The eight MDGs were formulated under UN millennium declaration in 2000 by world leaders of 191 UN member countries. The MDGs are commended for raising the ‘profile of poverty and development’ issues, and chart a path forward for action. Taking 1990 as the base year it fixed some targets under each MDG to be achieved by 2015, a year hence. The time since has seen the fastest reduction in poverty in human history: there are half a billion fewer people living below an international poverty line of $1.25 a day. The child mortality has reduced by 48% and the maternal mortality by 45% between 1990 and 2013.  Deaths from malaria have fallen by one quarter. This spectacular progress has been achieved by a combination of economic growth, better policies, and the global commitment to the MDGs by the governments all over the world.

However, the narrowly focused MDGs goals and targets were criticized for lack of comprehensiveness and inter-connectedness, national context, and grassroots participation and ownership. Consensus is now emerging that the post-2015 development agenda should go beyond a poverty focus and embrace a more equitable, participatory, and inclusive development strategy. While consolidation of gains (e.g., in maternal and child health, school enrolment, water and sanitation, etc.) beyond 2015 itself presents a challenge, the post-2015 development discourse should also address critical issues not explicitly addressed in current MDGs such as human rights, violence against women, sexual and reproductive health rights, gender discrimination, climate change, food and nutrition security, wage employment, urbanization and slum development, governance issues etc.

The UN Secretary-general commissioned a 27 member High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda to make recommendations on the development agenda beyond 2015. They submitted the report on 30th May 2013 with the optimism that ‘a transformation to end poverty through sustainable development is possible within our generation’. The Report provides an example of how new goals and measurable targets could be framed in the wake of these ‘transformative shifts’ (leave no one behind, put sustainable development at the core, transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth, build peace and effective, open and accountable
institutions for all and forge a new global partnership).

So, what are the new goals recommended for development beyond 2015? In brief
These are:
1) End poverty 2) Empower girls and women and achieve gender equality 3) Provide quality education and lifelong learning 4) Ensure healthy lives 5) Ensure food security and good nutrition 6) Achieve universal access to water and sanitation 7) Secure sustainable energy 8) Create jobs, sustainable livelihoods, and equitable growth 9) Manage natural resource assets sustainably 10) Ensure good governance and effective institutions 11) Ensure stable and peaceful societies 12)  Create a global enabling environment and catalyse long-term finance

For detailed discussion of the individual goals and how the consensus was reached pl read the Report:

A New Global Partnership: Eradicate poverty and transform economies through sustainable development (The Report of the High-level Panel of Eminent persons on the post-2015 Development Agenda).

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