The Millennium Development Goals are set to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people by 2015, as 180 leaders agreed in 2000.
The eight goals range from policies on education and health to gender equality and the environment. With two years remaining, Transparency International, the global anti-corruption organization, will be convening a panel to discuss why strong anti-corruption policies are necessary in helping to accomplish these goals. The event will be co-hosted by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the UN Development Program. As of now, the Millennium Development Goals do not include any commitments toward anti-corruption, and the panel will examine why these policies should perhaps be included.
Transparency International does not believe these goals will be reached if anti-corruption policies remain excluded from the list. According to their website, “Corruption and good governance were not included in this list, one of the reasons why Transparency International believes many of the eight goals will go unmet.”
Perhaps the best way to ensure the goals succeed is to maintain good governance in all the included sectors–education, health, and water, etc.–working together to prevent corruption. Access to information and participation from the citizenry is necessary in allowing the people to monitor and ensure fair governance.
Niger proves as an example that governance and corruption cannot be forgotten in the fight against poverty. This February, judicial authorities arrested about 20 doctors who were suspected of embezzling a donor’s funds after an investigation of some USD $1.5 million donated between 2007 and 2010. The donor, an alliance called GAVI, is demanding that the misused funds be returned. Because certain services will be halted without these funds, Nigerian children in need of health services suffer.
It is clear that all the Millennium Development Goals are related to each other in one way or another. And to accomplish them accordingly, it is vital that the policies can work off one another. Poverty, gender violence, and the like, cannot be combated if corruption still exists.
– Sonia Aviv