In his Sussex Development Lecture, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Ivan Lewis MP spoke about a new global covenant for development to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015. Ivan Lewis called it “an ambitious project” that would require “strong political leadership”, and that a new radical approach was required.
Ivan Lewis highlighted how he saw developing a vision for a post 2015 framework as a key part of his wider role to establish a new development agenda for the Labour party. This was alongside holding the current Coalition Government to account on issues such as the commitment to 0.7%, and ensuring and helping to improve UK public support for international development priorities.
In his lecture, Ivan Lewis examined the successes and limitations of the current MDGs, and reflected on how these should inform the design of a subsequent set of goals. He argued that the foundations of any new framework were critical and that the values of equality, social justice and human rights must serve as the building blocks. Ivan Lewis was clear that the new global covenant “....must address the root structural causes of poverty, bringing together global responses to global challenges such as climate change in a framework which also addresses country specific needs”.
Ivan Lewis also spoke about the need to recognise the significant changes that have taken place in the world since the adoption of the original MDGs. Notions of the ‘developed’ and ‘developing worlds’ have shifted. The geography of poverty has altered, with three quarters of the worlds’ poorest now living in middle income countries and the food, fuel and financial crises have led to increased vulnerability and insecurity. Ivan Lewis argued that any post 2015 framework should respond to and reflect this new world order.