Revitalizing the Political Will to Achieve the Millennium Goals
Moving essay by Kofi Annan on the Millenium Development Goals
....Revitalizing the political will to achieve the MDGs and scaling up proven interventions is the linchpin to success. As instigator and guardian of the MDGs, the UN has an important role to play in this process and the High Level Advocacy Group created by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is a welcome step in the right direction. The primary responsibility, however, rests with national leaders. Their challenge is to re-articulate a compelling case for global solidarity and equitable growth -- one that embraces but goes beyond aid. One that addresses the growing inequalities between male and female, rural and urban, rich and poor. One that does not measure development and progress purely in terms of GDP but also of the quality and sustainability of growth. The message must be that MDG achievement is not optional, but an essential investment in a fairer, safer and more prosperous world.
But achieving the MDGs is only the first step. For even if we succeed and meet all eight goals by 2015, almost a billion people will continue to live below the poverty line, hundreds of millions will remain hungry and millions will continue to die from preventable diseases or unnecessary complications. We will certainly need to take the MDGs to the next level after the initial deadline. While there is some skepticism about the utility of naming specific goals as basis for development strategies and institutional arrangements, I remain an advocate. After all, who can argue with an objective as simple and powerful as access to food and clean drinking water, jobs, health care and education for everyone?
AND do read this article by Bono in the NY Times - articulate, prescient, and direct.