Global Agenda Council on Poverty & Sustainable Development 2012-2013
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been the central reference point for global development efforts since they were established as international targets in the year 2000. As the first global policy vision based on mutual accountability between developing and developed countries, the MDGs set a compelling agenda to cut many forms of extreme poverty in half by 2015. Over time, the MDGs have gained traction far beyond the walls of government. Bill Gates has called them “the best idea for focusing the world on fighting global poverty that [he has] ever seen”. But the MDGs will expire in 2015 and they only mark a halfway point. The world must begin to prepare now for the post-2015 era.
The coming three years until 2015 will amount to a crossroads on the path of long-term global cooperation. They will contend with the principal needs of humanity, affecting billions among the least-advantaged people on the planet. Foremost among the challenges is the fight to end extreme poverty in its many forms. While poverty eradication is likely to remain the overarching goal, many argue for environmental and social sustainability targets to be included under a broader framework. There exist strident dissensions about the scope of the new framework and the level of the new targets. These disputes can be resolved only through proactive efforts spanning countries, organizations and citizens. This is a unique opportunity to define a vision and to put in place an actionable development and sustainability framework.
- Extreme poverty, i.e. the share of people living on less than US$ 1.25 a day (in purchasing power parity terms), has fallen globally from 43% in 1990 to 22% in 2008. It is projected to fall to 14% by 2015. The MDG target of halving extreme poverty between 1990 and 2015 is therefore likely to be met.
- “The share of women employed outside of agriculture remains as low as 20% in Southern Asia, Western Asia and Northern Africa.”
- “Some 1.7 billion people have gained access to safe drinking water since 1990. Yet 884 million people worldwide still do not have access to safe drinking water and 2.6 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines.”
“Rio+20 came at a time when the world needs to find both its motivating long-term vision and its near-term actions that kick-start the way forward. Governments and private actors alike, we all need to start firming up our next wave of goals to sustainably end poverty.”
John McArthur, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation, Washington DC, USA
"We have to convey that the Millennium Development Goals have had a revolutionary impact, contributing to improving lives at a rate never equalled in human history, but now we have to signal we can do even better."
Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, Chairperson, Europe, Middle East and Africa, FTI Consulting, Florida, USA
“When we talk about the poverty goal: it’s really about the economy, and the economy is much about the private sector. Without the private sector being the engine of growth, we are not going to get anywhere, but we have to have growth with equity, we have to have growth that means something to the poor man.”
Amina Mohammed, Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, United Nations
Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
9-14 October 2012
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2013
Launch of the Report of the High-Level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda
1 February 2013
New York, USA
General Assembly High-Level Meeting on MDGs
23 September 2013
New York, USA
The newly-created Global Agenda Council on Poverty & Sustainable Development is a merger of the Council on Benchmarking Progress, which worked in 2011-12 on the “Getting to Zero” project, and the Council on Poverty & Economic Development. This merger will take advantage of the synergies and complementarities between the two Councils.
The Global Agenda Council on Poverty & Sustainable Development aims to formulate policy recommendations on how best to transition from the MDGs to beyond the 2015 targets for poverty eradication and sustainable development. This work will inform the UN-led process from which the new generation of goals will emerge, especially the works of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. In particular, the Council will work on defining a vision for post-2015.
The Council will focus on:
- Making suggestions on how to conciliate extreme poverty eradication with environmental protection
- Putting together recommendations about the process of setting the new goals to ensure wide public acceptance
- Suggesting specific targets and indicators
- Proposing methods of measurement and combating data paucity
- Devising the means for realizing the vision
Research Analyst: Sandra Miura, Research Analyst, Global Agenda Councils, email@example.com
Council Manager: Thierry Geiger, Associate Director, Economist, Global Benchmarking Network, firstname.lastname@example.org
Forum Lead: Jennifer Blanke, Lead Economist, Senior Director, Head of Global Benchmarking Network, email@example.com