Today I learned that fifteen years ago, world leaders committed to eight goals to drive global action, ranging from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education. These goals were called the Millennium Development Goals.
For those as unaware as I was, these millennium development goals (MDGs) expire in December and a new action plan is to be adopted at the 70th UN general assembly held in New York this year.
The MDGs attracted plenty of criticism over the years, a key argument being that they placed too much emphasis on human development issues, such as education and health, and underplayed the importance of investments in energy and infrastructure that support economic growth and job creation.
Importantly for me, a target driven Business Development professional, critics aside, the question had to be; Were the goals achieved?
“The eight easy-to-understand goals generated incredible global traction, focusing attention and mobilising resources to where they were needed most.”
As I eagerly trawled the internet, I managed to find one interesting article, published by the Guardian that showed, as one world, how successful we actually were. And, well, in my view, I think given the enormity of the goals, I would be pretty comfortable with the results.
Given the pretty significant targets, such as halving the proportion of the people living in extreme poverty and halting and reversing the spread of HIV/Aids, achievement of any of these globally significant goals should of been all through the global media headlines, in newspapers worldwide on a regular basis, front page news…..
Maybe it was, maybe I missed it… Did anyone else see it?
I know, as we all do, that the media prefer the more important stories of death, violence and terror. President Obama’s recent interview summed it up perfectly; If it bleeds, it leads. Looking back on the amount of wasted time I have thrown at these media outlets peddling violence and propaganda, I feel slightly embarrassed that it has taken 15 years for this amazing news story about global unity and success to reach me.
Absurdly I can pretty much name every single terror group known to man, but I could not, before today give you one of these Global UN millennium goals.
Refocusing back to the the MDGs, now I appreciate; even with global economic growth, and the rise of global economies like China which must have impacted the statistics in a positive way, surely this has to be the greatest global anti-poverty push in history?
With 189 countries signing up to the declaration, committing their countries to a set of time-bound and quantified goals and targets, I can fully understand why Philanthropist, Bill Gates was quoted as saying that the MDGs are “the best idea for focusing the world on fighting global poverty that I have ever seen”.
Even without the global media support they should have received, the MDGs have became a global rallying point for the humanitarian cause and galvanised efforts to help the world’s neediest people.
“The Millennium Development Goals focused international aid efforts and galvanised people into action.” Matt Wade, SMH
With the new action plan to be launched in 2016, covering sustainable development goals (SDGs), which are more ambitious and cover a wider range of issues, including a greater focus on climate change, human rights, migration and employment. Some have argued that 17 is too many, and that the SDGs risk becoming unwieldy and overly bureaucratic. Others have argued the goals offer a much more comprehensive set than those that came before them and are therefore more likely to succeed.It would be great to hear your thoughts on:
1) Any interesting articles you have read on these goals;
2) Whether the proposed SDG’s have set the bar to high? Do you think 17 goals are unachievable, or;
3) Do you feel that aiming high, even if it ends in failure, will actually end in a better global state?
Yours in Sales and Service.
A more enlightened human.
Group BDM Total Solutions Group MD Our Sales Experience