As part of the charter, the United Nations was created to help world development among many other ideas.

In 2000, the UN released the Millennium Goals, a set of goals to eradicate poverty by 2015. For education, the goal was to achieve universal primary education. The same year, the UN also announced the Education for All goals, which includes objectives like creating gender and ethnic equality for accessing education, increasing adult literacy, and improving the quality of education offered.

When the 2015 year began, the UN reevaluated these measures and how they have been successful. Primary education has reached 90 percent of the youth; however, 58 million children still remain out of school with about half of them being young girls. These children are either working, forced to marry, are slaves or are child soldiers.

Set backs in education such as natural disasters, wars or extremist that threaten stability can keep young children out of school and make aid accessibility for the children difficult. Other issues arise as well. Teachers are not trained correctly. There are not enough textbooks. Student to teacher ratios can be 146 to one in some cases. With issues like these, it is a struggle to provide each child with a quality, basic education. It is estimated that about 250 million children fall into this category.

The Post-2015 Development Agenda was created to address the education goals not reached by 2015. The new set of goals focuses on girls, children of ethnic minorities and disabled children.

In addition, it addresses how to finance the new projects. One dollar invested equals a $15 economic gain, and if all children had basic reading skills, then 170 million people would be raised out of poverty. The plan is to increase public investment in education by 4 to 6 percent of the each country’s GDP in hopes of reaching that 170 million people.

The UN encourages governments to work together and create agendas that promote transparency and collaboration. It also hopes that the UN organization for education, UNESCO, will continue to be a leader in educating the world’s poor.

– Katherine Hewitt

Sources: Education Envoy, Open Society Foundations, The Guardian, UNESCO
Photo: Flickr

International Cooperation Global Development Soccer
The UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have resulted in a number of successes, yet there is still room for improvement, particularly regarding global economic development, according to Professor Jose Antonio Ocampo, chairman of the UN committee for development policy. He believes that the MDGs lack the inclusion of developing nations in international decision-making, which will be essential for ending poverty beyond 2015.

The Millennium Development Goals were clear, concise, and not unreasonable. The high visibility of these goals, and the support of many powerful nations, has not only spread awareness about global poverty, but has also resulted in real achievement. One goal, to reduce global poverty by half, has already been met.

The area where the MDGs fall short, according to Ocampo, is goal eight: develop a global partnership for development. This goal was aimed at facilitating the progress of development for the world’s poorest countries, with assistance from the international community. It was also meant to develop an “open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system.”

MDG8 is essential for ending global poverty in the long run, since the biggest predictor of poverty is the country in which a person is born. The reason is the drastic income inequalities between countries. Facilitating economic development, and reducing the income inequalities at an international level is “the most important contribution to fighting global poverty,” says Ocampo. Developing nations have long been calling for “a change in the rules that govern global finance, trade and technology generation and transfer.”

The decision-makers at the UN proposed that a number of multi-stakeholder partnerships comprised of foundations, the private sector, and academics would make-up the “global partnership” to facilitate economic success in the developing world.

While Professor Ocampo welcomes their insight, he believes that this collaboration “can never be a substitute for the central role that intergovernmental co-operation has to play.” Intergovernmental cooperation is essential to global decision-making regarding economic development to reduce income inequality at an international level, and poverty worldwide.

– Jennifer Bills

Sources: The Guardian, The Borgen Project
Photo: Grameen Foundation