Why MDGs?


When addressing YMPs with development issues, a question for us is: what development topics shall we address them with? In our actions we aimed at topics concerning the MDGs. We found that MDGs give us a great framework to talk about various ways to contribute to global development with small individual contributions. Maybe the different sectors of development that form the MDGs can also give you some ideas on what to promote to new target groups.





MDG is the acronym for Millennium Development Goals. And now you are wondering what these goals are? The best football goals of the millennium? A new book of the Millennium Trilogy? The objectives of the Millennium Bank? A governmental initiative to promote development in the new millennium? Well...no!



What are MDGs?


The 60s and 70s of the 20th century have been called the “lost decades of development”, and during the 90s, several international conferences took place that highlighted the need for a new paradigm to lead the development action of the UN member states. In March 2000, Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006, launched the report “We the peoples: the role of the United Nations in the twenty-first century”, where he highlighted the need for a new focused and measurable initiative to which all the member states should commit to.

In September 2000, 189 world leaders came together at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and adopted what was called the UN Millennium Declaration (see more at http://www.un.org), committing their countries to work together in true partnership to reduce extreme poverty and the inequalities existing in global development. It was from this Millennium Declaration that the Millennium Development Goals were born, appearing for the first time in UN history as time-bound targets with a set deadline of 2015.

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) range from eradicating extreme poverty to promoting sustainable development, going through gender empowerment and promoting education for all.They were created with clear measures and indicators that help world governments and Civil Society to know exactly what they need to do to tackle global poverty.

As Kofi-Annan said at that time:

 “The international community has just emerged from an era of commitment. It must now enter an era of implementation, in which it mobilizes the will and the resources needed to fulfill the promises made.”



The 8 Goals




And after 2015?


The MDGs will be outdated in 2015. So you may be wondering if it still makes sense to promote them to YMPs and other target groups. We think: yes it does! Within only 12 years, MDGs have become a landmark in the story of international relations. The MDGs prove that a set of measurable targets and indicators can be a driver for human sustainable development and for the adoption of new lifestyles.

In fact, it is undeniable that MDGs generate a stage of support on poverty eradication without precedents. From governments to civil society, from international organizations to local communities, the public support for development policies increased worldwide.

The past years also showed some weaknesses in the MDG process. For some, MDGs are a donor-led agenda that don’t take into account local contexts or national priorities. Others argue that there are some missing dimensions in the Goals, like human rights, good governance, and quality of education. Other critics point out that MDGs neglect the poorest and the most vulnerable. By measuring the average progress, the risk that some people will fall behind the line is very high.

Since 2000, the world has been changing. Economic, social, environmental, and cultural dimensions are pulsing by the second. The challenges are increasing: overpopulation, economic growth, social protection, climate changes, equity and cohesion, gender and human rights…and the solutions are not clear for all.

What is now clear is that the eight MDGs will not be achieved by 2015. This doesn’t mean that the international commitment to improve the efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and promote human development are decreasing - on the contrary, the post-2015 debate is already on the world agenda. Some key issues like chronic poverty, climate change, human rights, urbanization, and economic growth are being addressed in order to reflect the new thinking on development.

There are some trends in the post-2015 discussion for the MDGs: retain the MDGs with some minor changes; refine their contents and redesign the architecture; develop a completely different framework, with a new structure, or new targets and new indicators; and forward the same MDGs without a timeline.

The debate will continue. We can follow the discussion through international campaigns, such as Beyond 2015. Beyond 2015 “is a global civil society campaign, pushing for a strong and legitimate successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals”. Also on the website www.post2015.org, it’s possible to find key documents, reports and ongoing research on the post-2015 agenda.

The post-2015 agenda will for sure reflect new development challenges towards a better world!

We invite you to take the MDG and post-MDG agenda to the YMPs like we did in our actions addressing many different locations and occasions such as shops at Christmas, travelers, bars, and many more.

You will find in the MDGs a set of many topics that can suit your target group in many ways.