2010: no flying cars but an opportunity to get the Millennium Development Goals back on track

20 January, 2010 | Health and Education For All

For the first blog of the new decade I want to take you back to the turn of the century. A time when facebook did not exist, George W. Bush had not yet become the president of the United States and a plan by world leaders to tackle global poverty was launched - the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

These goals were agreed upon by 192 United Nations member states and trumpeted by the leaders of the G8 (the world’s most industrialised nations) as a solution to the continuing scar of global poverty. The short film below gives more of an idea of what these commitments are.

Reaching the MDGs will help millions of people to lift themselves out of poverty. They aim to provide, among other things, clean water, access to health care and medicines and a quality education for all.

The deadline for meeting these eight goals is 2015; we are two thirds of the way there and this year is vital.

Since 2000 a great deal of progress has been made in education, especially in getting more children into school. By getting rid of fees for primary school kids, Tanzania has got nearly 3 million more of them into school in the last 5 years.

There has also been some inspirational progress in saving children’s lives.  Nepal has cut the number of children who die before their fifth birthday by a third, and the country is on target to meet the Millennium Development Goal on child mortality before 2015.  Globally the goal to put TB into reverse was met in 2004.

These are great achievements, but unfortunately there’s still some serious work to be done.  72 million children in poor countries are still waiting for their chance to get into the classroom, and millions of people in poor countries continue to get poor-quality health care, or are forced to go without it altogether. Fees are too high, hospitals and clinics are too few.

A concerted effort is needed this year to get off track goals, such as maternal mortality, back on track, and ensure that the progress that has been made is not threatened by the impact of the global economic crisis that is making the live of poor families harder every day. 

We expect world leaders to seize the opportunity of 2010, when the MDGs will be high on the political agenda, from Spain to New York to South Africa, to build on great progress and show us how they will finish the job.

The UN will hold an MDG Summit in September to discuss progress on the goals and how they can be reached. So now is the time to put pressure on our leaders and make sure that they can’t wriggle out, forget about or spin their way around meeting the MDGs.

If we don’t start to see some strong action this year then these commitments will just become empty promises. And that’s where you come in. Take part in Oxfam’s Big Promise and send a message to world leaders that promises can and must be kept.

In some ways the new century has been a disappointment. I still don’t have a flying car or a robotic butler. There’s not much chance that I’ll get either of them in the next five years. But with the right will we can reach the MDGs and help lift millions of people out of poverty.

Comments

Reply:

Very wimsical - great post. Thanks

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Another study about maternal health?

What do you think of this:

Ashoka, the global network of leading social entrepreneurs, announced today that it has been awarded a one-year grant by GE Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the GE Corporation, to identify and map solutions aimed at improving maternal and infant health around the world. Focusing on the sub-Saharan region of Africa, the goal is to find new pathways and mechanisms for healthcare and technologies to reach mothers and infants in need.

Do you think we really need another 'study' about this?  Here's a link to the story:  http://www.ashoka.org/press/6662

 

great ambition

This is a very serious topic not only in Bangladesh but in India, Nepal, Thailand...and other more developing countries. These problems are created from the poor quality of life and the people from slums who do not have any capacity to hold their own life. Even they get married and give birth to children and leave them out to earn when they should be sent school,given proper food and right to play not worrying about anything. When we look back at our childhood we feel like those were the best days of our lives with no problems no worries no tension, just eat sleep and play. And, I agree that this is all due to the lack of education and you are doing a great job with great ambition. I wish you all the best for every success in this project.

Regards

When we look back at our childhood...

When we look back at our childhood we feel like those were the best days
of our lives with no problems no worries no tension, just eat sleep and
play. And, I agree that this is all due to the lack of education and
you are doing a great job with great ambition. I wish you all the best
for every success in this project. how to grow taller 4 idiots

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Thank you for this touching video. We should get united to achieve these high aims; all together, we will fight the hunger and extreme poverty in the world. We must believe in the better future, because it is WE, who is building this future, noone else. Yesterday I heard a lecture which i came across at some web mp3 source , it was about extreme poverty and 3rd world countries. It was as inspiring as this video but there were more examples with figures and statistical data, and it was more shocking. Anyways, I repeat, that we must cooperate, work together to achieve our aims, and to fight this worldwide inequality.

This is exactly what the

This is exactly what the World Bank and IMF want you to believe. They get countries into horrible debt w/ high interest which they cannot repay and then exploit (steal from) these countries for their natural resources when they default. If you actually READ the propositions of the UN, you will soon learn that their objectives are diametric to your Constitutional rights. The UN, IMF and WB actually make things worse. It leads to CORPORATE EXPLOITATION for profit... just ask Larry Summers.

These problems are created

These problems are created from the poor quality of life and the people from slums who do not have any capacity to hold their own life. Even they get married and give birth to children and leave them out to earn when they should be sent school,given proper food and right to play not worrying about anything. When we look back at our childhood we feel like those were the best days of our lives with no problems no worries no tension, just eat sleep and play

Manu | Thanks for sharing !

hi

I love this website.

Indeed, no flying cars in

Indeed, no flying cars in 2010 and a lot of the promises made back then left to be kept. A lot of progress has been made in achieving those 18 goals but since we are left with only a third of the time remaining, I think we are far behind.

Thom Westley

Its great to see a positive

Its great to see a positive post as sometimes we forget the progress that has been made.  Although this is a never ending road we should stop now and again to look back at what has been achieved while still having an eye on the future.  Thanks

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