In a presentation at the United Nations University earlier this month, Jeffrey Sachs gave updates on the Millennium Development Goals and projections for after 2015. Sachs, one of the developers of the Millennium Development Goals and Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University, discussed the post-2015 future of sustainable development. With the expiration of the MDGs set for 2015, attention is turning to the Millennium Villages Project and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Despite the progress of many nations agreeing to the framework of the MDGs, there is still room for improvement. In the midst of the Ebola crisis, the interdependency of the MDGs, especially focusing on maternal health, epidemic diseases and education, has emphasized a need for equal attention to the goals.
With expectations for exponential increases in global GDP and population, the need for advanced poverty relief is greater than ever. Under the new SDSN framework, set to be instituted by the United Nations after 2015, new goals will be created to target financial responsibility and climate change. In 2015, three conversations will take place in both developed and developing nations to tackle the next phase after the MDGs.
Jeffrey Sachs is seen to be among the frontrunners of the next several decades of continued development. Though the concrete plans implementing change are still yet to be solidified in the post-2015 meetings, cooperation between developed and developing nations is still going to be in the center of the plans.
In an article written in Horizons, Sachs writes, “Ours is a world of fabulous wealth and extreme poverty: billions of people enjoy longevity and good health unimaginable in previous generations, yet at least one billion people live in such abject poverty that they struggle for mere survival every day. The poorest of the poor face the daily life-and-death challenges of insufficient nutrition, lack of healthcare, unsafe shelter, and the lack of safe drinking water and sanitation.” The gap between the OCED and developing nations is growing, and Sachs is acutely aware that the growing rate of the global economy will only aggravate the poverty gap. Achieving a basic standard of living will not eliminate the poverty gap, but will ease the daily struggles of the bottom quintile.
The sustainable development framework is working to achieve a universal standard of living. Though it was intended to reach this standard by 2015, realistically, additional work under a revised viewpoint will follow in the subsequent years.
– Kristin Ronzi