The post-2015 Millennium Development Goals can be translated into “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Welcome to the UNO’s plans for a new sustainable development agenda, described as a historic turning point and the People’s Agenda, to be adopted by world leaders this September in New York.
The 2015 Goals
At the Millennium Summit in September 2000 world leaders came together and signed the eight 2015 Millennium Development Goals to eliminate hunger and poverty, improve healthcare, widen the scope of education and fight against gender discrimination.
The goals were as follows: Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; MDG 2: Achieve universal primary education; MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women; MDG 4: Reduce child mortality; MDG 5: Improve maternal health; MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability; MDG 8: Develop a global partnership for development.
By 2015, enormous strides had been taken across the board but it cannot, by any means, be said that the MGDs were reached in full. MDG 1 – Hundreds of millions of people continue to live in varying degrees of abject poverty and many families do not have food on their tables every day; MDG 2 – almost 60 million children of primary school age do not frequent any education program; MDG 3 – the ratio of female-to-male disparity in terms of income remains high, girls are still more likely to remain outside education than boys; the number of women dying during pregnancy was reduced by 45 per cent and not the 75% set as goal 5; MDG 6 – there were improved statistics in healthcare but there are around 2 million people still infected by HIV/AIDS annually, most in Sub-Saharan Africa, well over five hundred million people die of Malaria every year – most in Sub-Saharan Africa and most of these children under five and there are between eight and ten million new cases of Tuberculosis yearly; MDG 8: access to affordable medicines at public health facilities remains poor and generic and originator medicines cost far higher than their international reference price.
MDG 4 was achieved – the number of deaths of children under five halved from 2000 to 2015 to some 6 million, as was MDG 7 – 89 per cent of the world’s population used an improved source of drinking water by 2011 and 55% had access to piped water at home although 2.4 billion people remain without access to basic sanitation systems.
The Post-2015 plan is for 17 Sustainable Development Goals which will be based on the document agreed upon by the 193 Member States of the United Nations Organization, entitled “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” which will be adopted formally at the UN meeting in September, in New York.
Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General, describes it as follows: “This is the People’s Agenda, a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind. It seeks to ensure peace and prosperity, and forge partnerships with people and planet at the core”.
The document is the result of two years’ work with a great contribution from civil society and aims to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, through the implementation of 17 Sustainable Development Goals with 169 targets which aim to go further and deeper than the Millennium Development Goals 2015. The main aim is “to free the human race within this generation from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet for the present and for future generations,” according to the text of the document.
The plan revolves around the eradication of poverty, focusing on all “the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development” and will involve action by all countries, “poor, rich and middle-income”. This action will aim to remove barriers against sustainable development, identified as “inequality, unsustainable consumption and production patterns, inadequate infrastructure and lack of decent jobs”.
The action plan will include marine ecosystems and biodiversity and will involve civil society, which provided an important platform for the adoption of the document.
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. He is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights.
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