In the year 2000, world leaders came together to establish the Millennium Development Goals – also known as the MDGs – a set of eight goals which member states and international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. The MDGs are to:
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Achieve universal primary education
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce child mortality
- Improve maternal health
- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- Ensure environmental sustainability
- Develop a global partnership for development
The MDGs have been a powerful tool for sustaining global attention and bringing together international support to promote development. The strength of the MDGs is that they focuse on a limited set of concrete human development goals and have provided a target for setting national and international development policies. The specific, time-bound targets and measurable indicators provide valuable and effective benchmarks for monitoring progress and achieving concrete results.
The target today, post Rio+20, is still on achieving those goals by 2015 but the process has started to develop a framework that could succeed the MDGs in the post 2015 era. Discussions are already underway as to what these new goals and targets may look like, taking the lessons learnt from the MDGs. This includes an intergovernmental Open Working Group, a UN System Task Team as well as over 50 national consultations being led by the UN Development Group (for more information about this process visit Post 2015 site).
It was felt, in particular by civil society organizations, that there were several important issues that were not addressed in the original MDGs, issues productive employment, violence against women, social protection, inequalities, social exclusion, biodiversity, malnutrition, the rule of law, human rights that could be included this time around. In order to ensure that the important issues are not overlooked and to make the goals and targets stronger, this time civil society is being invited into the process through a wide range of consultative processes.
In conjunction with the UN task forces and governments plans for the post-2015 agenda, a consultation process is being held online via a platform called The World We Want 2015. Here, nine thematic consultations are taking place led by various UN agencies including Inequalities, Governance, Health, Sustainability, Population, Water, Employment, Conflict, Food, Education, and Energy. Each theme has regular online discussions, summaries of the consultation process, and ongoing Twitter updates of the live proceedings. Currently there is an online consultation on Sustainability and Growth that will continue until the 8th of March. There are also a series of conferences around the different topic areas happening around the world.
Individuals are also being invited to take part in the process is via My World (www.myworld2015.org), a global survey asking individuals to choose priorities in creating a better world. The results will be shared with world leaders in setting the next global development agenda.
There are also a range of hubs bringing together research, reports and information about the Post-2015 discussions, all which invite contributions. Post 2015 is a hub for ideas, debate and resources on what comes after the Millenium Development Goals. Co-ordinated by the Overseas Development Institute, which has been working on a major research project on the post-2015 agenda, the site also collects information about new research, papers and other relevant information regarding this topic. Several movements and organizations such as Beyond 2015 and Global Call to Action Against Poverty provide a space for civil society groups to discuss what the post 2015 agenda may look like and submit their recommendations.
The first report of the UN system on the Post 2015 Development Agenda – Realizing the Future We Want for All – provides a good overview of the whole process and the issues being discussed. Moving forward there are a range of events that will bring together the public consultations into the Post 2105 edition of the MDG. For example Feb 27-28 will be the 2013 Global MDG Conference in Bogota, Columbia and the topic will be discussed at length at the upcoming 68th UN General Assembly in September of this year.
To follow other Post Rio+20 activities visit sustainabledevelopment.un.org.
– How do you incorporate the MDGs in your research and teaching? What are your thoughts on what the post 2015 goals and targets could look like? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. –