The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that were established in 2000. An initiative of the United Nations, the MDGs have led to significant improvement in welfare of citizens around the world. Countries like Bangladesh, Ghana and Nicaragua have reduced hunger by half over the last two decades. Half a billion people have moved out of extreme poverty and child mortality has decreased. The life of almost three million children’ are saved each year. The MDGs is coming to an end in two years with countries’ achievements at various levels. In this situation, a high-level panel has produced a report for the post-2015 period that suggests recommendations for the development agenda.
Titled ‘A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies Through Sustainable Development’, the report states the post-2015 agenda is an universal agenda that needs to be driven by five big, transformative shifts.
Leaving no one behind: The report states that the post-2015 agenda should focus on ending hunger and extreme poverty. This will build on the MDGs that aspire to halve poverty. According to the report, the next development agenda must be inclusive and must tackle the causes of poverty, exclusion and inequality. It mentions the introduction of quality infrastructure that will connect rural and urban areas to the modern economy as well as a focus on the poorest and most marginalized. According to the report, the actions have to be focused on the neediest and the most vulnerable.
Put sustainable development at the core: The report states that a new agenda is needed for universal sustainable lifestyles. There has to be new ways of energy usage and consumption, transportation and use of non-renewable resources. Both developed and developing countries have to move towards a green economy and sustainable way of living. Also, companies have to increasingly adopt sustainable practices.
Transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth:The report suggests that there should be a commitment to rapid, equitable growth that will be sustainable, long-term and inclusive. This growth should be able to adapt to climate change and meet the challenges of unemployment and resource scarcity. Economic growth has to be accompanied by sustainable consumption and production that will enable sustainable development.
Build peace and effective, open and accountable public institutions: The report recommends that peace and governance are core elements of well-being. So, it recommends building effective and accountable public institutions that support freedom of speech and rule of law. It suggests that domestic and international institutions can collaborate to reduce corruption and other unlawful activities.
Forge a new global partnership: The report suggests a new sense of global partnership that is based on common humanity. It is based on the belief that fates are inter-linked and a concerted effort by all countries is an investment in global long-term prosperity. All countries need to come together and contribute to a better future. The new global partnership has to be more inclusive where national governments, local authorities, international institutions, business, civil society organisations, foundations, other philanthropists and social impact investors, scientists and academics, and people will play important roles to build a better future.
Based on these five transformative shifts, the report suggests twelve goals: i) End Poverty, ii) Empower girls and women and achieve gender equality, iii) Provide quality education and lifelong learning, iv) Ensure healthy lives, v) Ensure food security and good nutrition, vi) Achieve universal access to water and sanitation, vii) Secure sustainable energy, viii) Create jobs, sustainable livelihoods and equitable growth, ix) Manage natural resource assets sustainably, x) Ensure good governance and effective institutions, xi) Ensure stable and peaceful societies, and xii) Create a global enabling environment and catalyse long-term finance.
The report mentions bringing people living on less than $1.25 a day to zero by 2030. This would eradicate extreme poverty. Also, the report mentions increasing resilience to adjust to health, economic and climate shocks. This would improve standard of living and increase economic productivity. Again, social assistance programs that have been very successful in Mexico and Brazil, may help to improve equality. While food production is necessary, sustainable food production is very important. On the other hand, peaceful societies are a pre-requirement for achieving economic growth and a reduction in poverty. The twelve goals recommended in the report are all very important and necessary to achieve meaningful impact in people’s lives.
The report is very elaborate and extensive; it considers many factors that are needed for meaningful and inclusive improvement in the life of the people. It may seem that the report is over-ambitious and is trying to cover too many areas. However, it is important to cover various areas and make them a reality to bring meaningful improvement in the well-being of the people.