April 5, 2013 marked the 1000-day milestone for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The United Nations Association of the United States of America hosted a conference call with Minh-Thu Pham, Public Policy Director at United Nations Foundation, focusing on the future of the Millennium Development Goals after 2015. Before determining the Post-2015 Development Agenda, high level UN officials will have to look at current MDGs progress.
Some MDGs have been reached or are on track to be fulfilled. For example, “the world has met the target of halving the proportion of people without access to improved sources of water, five years ahead of schedule.” (UN.org) Asian and Sub-Saharan African countries are set to achieve their MDGs targets. Since the inception of the MDGs in 2000, the goals have resonated with people, galvanized governments and organizations.
Current economic conditions hinder the progress of the MDGs. Some economically advanced countries agreed to contribute 0.7% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within the decade towards development assistance in low-income countries. Only a few countries have delivered on that agreement and most are the Scandinavian countries. Developing countries are questioning the validity of having wealthy countries directing the Post-2015 Development Agenda when they are not upholding their agreement. An exception would be the United States. Although the US government has not provided 0.7% of their GDP towards the MDGs, the US is the most generous country in providing aid thanks to its private sector, non-governmental organizations, and non-profit organizations.
At various points this year, the Security Council will convene to address current MDGs progress and how to tackle the next agenda. One of the issues is climate change since this impacts poverty levels. When there is a drought, the world’s poorest are adversely affected since they live off the land. Other issues to be included in the Post-2015 Development Agenda are human rights, gender equality, and reproductive health. These next set of goals will have to be clear and easily understood by most in order to garner support from the public. During these meetings, officials will discuss the root causes of poverty and the future of poverty given current ecological, political, and economic conditions. They will also discuss various ways to drive the MDGs in low-income countries and conflict states.
Please visit http://www.unausa.org/post2015 for more information on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.