World leaders meeting at UN MDG Summit must agree new direction

14 September 2010

Children raising hands14 September 2010

Over one billion people could still be living in ‘dollar a day' poverty in 2015, warns a new IDS report commissioned by the UN, unless world leaders agree a new plan for accelerating progress on the MDGs.

Accelerating Progress on the MDGs, a new report published today by IDS says that unless progress on the Millennium Development Goals accelerates there could still be over one billion people in ‘dollar a day' poverty in 2015. The report was commissioned by the UN, which gave IDS exclusive access to its ‘MDG progress papers', prepared by the UN MDG Task Force for the Summit taking place in New York next week. IDS' analysis of the five thematic papers suggests that world leaders meeting at the Summit must agree to a greater focus on country-led strategies to achieve the MDGs and in particular to address social inequality.

Report author, IDS Research Fellow and Development Economist, Dr Martin Greeley, provides a unique insight into the research for the Summit that sets out the UN Task Force's detailed assessment of successful strategies for the achievement of the MDGs by 2015. Dr Greeley's analysis suggests world leaders will be told that the goals agreed by UN members in 2000 are still achievable but only if critical gaps are addressed.

Dr Greeley said:

"There is strong political buy-in to the MDGs but leaders at the UN Summit must agree a new approach that will accelerate progress over the next five years. The UN-wide Task Force's MDG progress papers clearly show that the MDGs are achievable but only if the ambitions and resources of the international community are used more effectively.

If world leaders meeting next week fail to agree to integrate the MDGs into national development strategies and to invest in public services that will tackle inequality, over a billion people could be left living in extreme poverty in 2015."

Six inter-related priorities for accelerating progress on the MDGs have been identified by IDS as:

  • Country-led strategies
    Integrating MDGs in national strategies and financing them through annual resource budgets
  • Inclusion - addressing inequality, exclusion and discrimination
    Strengthening public services and programmes to address inequality and all those that suffer from discrimination and social exclusion.
  • Local Accountability
    Creating legal and institutional frameworks that make governments more accountable to citizens
  • Community participation and partnerships
    Involving communities and the private sector to achieve country targets
  • Gender equality and women's empowerment
    Recognising that gender equity and women's empowerment are critical to the progress on the MDGs overall.
  • Resilience - protecting the most vulnerable, adapting to change
    Adopting an effective approach to social protection, prioritising sustainable development and promoting adaptation to climate change.

Download the In Focus Policy Briefing - MDG Priorities for Accelerating Progress.