Friday, 31 May 2013

Post-2015 Goals Released: Eradicate Poverty, Same System - New Catch Words

Seeing that I will be graduating in a post-MDG world, I should have adequate resources available to see what goals were achieved and where, how they were achieved, or what prevented their success. The MDG's have been heavily criticized for not being strong enough or inclusive enough, to answer some of its critics, the goals set for 2030 are focused entirely around the eradication of extreme poverty, measured by people living on less than $1.25 daily.
“Our vision and our responsibility are to end extreme poverty in all its forms in the context of sustainable development and to have in place the building blocks of sustained prosperity for all.”- UN Post-2015 Report
The executive report acknowledges some of the faults of the MDG's and gives itself a large pat on the back for the successes as well, but emphasizes how the 2030 goal agenda shows its teeth more, and will build on the successes of the MDG's. The 12 new objectives cover food and water issues, health, gender equality, environmental sustainability, international trade equality; all bases covered except equality, as argued here. I'm sure I'll have to delete this post once professional criticisms start rolling in. 

Here's what I think about it: Over the past couple of decades we have become better and better at organizing committees, writing reports, setting projections, gathering data, analyzing the best way possible to meet goals, finding stats to prove our success, which our critics will simultaneously use to disprove us. Better at abstractions,worse at shaking hands, using common sense, and reading about the past to see what should be done to ensure the same mistakes aren't repeated. I would like to see a study on the total spent by INGO's, governments, think tanks, development organizations, UN-bodies etc. to calculate how much time and money has been spent throughout the past 50 years. "We need to have these meetings in order to set definitive goals, and reach agreements..." is undoubtedly a strong argument. But when those agreeing to the goals aren't legally obliged to follow through, nor are any of the positions of government stable for more than a few years, the ability to blame others is all too readily available. 

These new goals cover topics that clearly states' have no longer control: end agricultural subsidies? Create an international financial system that promotes fair trading practices? What government has enough power to make these changes? What leader is willing enough to propose these issues in parliament at the almost guaranteed loss of power? The technocrats of the North and of the South have neither the honesty, moral integrity, or leadership abilities to uphold these lofty goals of reformation. I will work, and likely dedicate my life to achieving ends such as these, but unless the people at top want to cooperate, my job isn't going to get any easier. Find the full UN Post-2015 report here (PDF)

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