12 September 2013 | By Helen Dennis
In two weeks' time, world leaders will gather in New York to discuss progress made towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
These goals, while certainly flawed, have ensured that global poverty reduction stays on the political agenda at the highest level.
As Rowan Williams writes in his introduction to Christian Aid’s new report, The world we want to see: perspectives on post-2015 (PDF, 1mb), 'it is crucial to hold on to the importance of the fact that they exist in the first place'.
India’s landless communities united to campaign for land rights during the Jan Satyagraha March for Justice in 2012. The movement was organised by Christian Aid partner Ekta Parishad, who stressed the supreme importance of global solidarity to this campaign.
Millennium Development Goals
There have been some important achievements:
Since 1990, over 2.1 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water.
Between 2000 and 2011, the number of children out of school fell from 102 million to 57 million.
The MDG target of universal access to HIV treatment is now within reach.
However we should not be complacent. Success has been patchy and in some countries, especially those experiencing conflict, the MDGs still seem far out of reach.
Gender and development
The MDGs have also masked the reality of inequality and discrimination that many people still experience - women remain excluded from many aspects of political, social and economic life, and minorities such as the dalits in India and the quilombolas in Brazil continue to experience exclusion.
Many new issues have arisen and none so pressing as the threat of climate change. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has suggested that 3 billion people could be pushed into poverty by the climate crisis, including the increased frequency and severity of natural disasters.
The need to reinforce community resilience to disasters, as recommended in our report by M Mathieu Ouedraogo from Christian Aid partner Réseau Marp Burkina, is a call that world leaders cannot ignore.
As the debate shifts towards a 'post-2015' agenda, it will be important for decision-makers to take stock of what has worked, but also to consider the gaps and listen to the voices of those living in poverty.
Human rights and equality
Following months of UN-led consultation, and through initiatives such as the MY World survey and the Participate research project, there does seem to be a consensus emerging around equality, sustainability and human rights.
Healthcare and education remain as important as ever, but calls for an ‘honest and responsive government’ are also top of the list.
Christian Aid’s contribution is to focus on amplifying the voices of organisations around the world which are on the front-line in the fight against poverty and inequality.
Groups such as the Afghan Women’s Network, Tax Justice Network Africa, and the National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights, as well those responding to the impacts of environmental degradation and climate change, such as CEPA in Malawi and the Bolivian Climate Change Platform.
We must eradicate poverty
We argue in the report that the moral task is clear – poverty is an affront to human dignity and new goals should aim for its eradication. However the way forward is less certain.
Faced with an environmental crisis and an unjust concentration of global wealth in the hands of just a few, world leaders will now have to make bold choices for people and planet in order to deliver ‘the world we want to see’.
How you can help
Download the report: The world we want to see: perspectives on post-2015 (PDF, 1mb)
- hear from 17 Christian Aid partners around the world, explaining their priorities and hopes for a post-2015 global development agenda.
Share this blog to raise awareness of our partners' amazing work around the world: