In September 2000, to mark the New Millennium, all heads of states and governments met at the UN General Assembly in New York and adopted a declaration setting eight goals for humanity, known as the MDGs. The powerful slogan 'We Can End Poverty', although very inspirational, seemed more an aspiration than an achievable goal. Not so, we are happy to report. Looking back on what has, and has not, been achieved, the picture is much brighter than the sceptics had predicted in 2000.
On 5 April, we reached the 1000 days mark to the MDG target date and much has indeed been done to eradicate absolute poverty. The MDGs are the most successful global anti-poverty push in history. Governments, international organizations and civil society groups around the world have helped to cut in half the world's extreme poverty rate as well as the number of people without access to safe drinking water. More girls are in school. Fewer children are dying. The world continues to fight killer diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. #MDGmomentum
It would seem therefore that We Can indeed End Poverty if we all set our minds to it. It seems that the private sector has also come a very long way since the year 2000 and no longer considers the achievement of development objectives as 'charity' but rather as a real investment in the future. So if I were to guess, I'd say in that the next 1000 days we will witness a big leap towards the eighth goal which is 'developing a global partnership for development.'
But 2015 is certainly not the end. We are already in post-2015 mode. The UN has created a global conversation asking citizens to think about post-2015 and to say which goals are most important to them. Join the conversation, tell us what you think on www.myworld2015.org.
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