In May 2012 the Prime Minister was invited by the UN Secretary General to co-chair the High Level Panel on the Post 2015 development agenda, alongside the Presidents of Indonesia and Liberia. The Panel was tasked with providing recommendations on successor goals to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The High Level Panel concluded its work last week and I represented the Prime Minister at the final meeting in New York. The 27 member panel included representatives from government, business and civil society from all regions of the world. Their bold and optimistic report states clearly that we can and must eliminate extreme poverty by 2030. The Prime Minister helped steer the Panel to a consensus on the 5 transformational shifts required to achieve this visionary aim:
Leave No One Behind: The MDGs aimed to halve extreme poverty (defined as people earning less than $1.25 a day) [Equivalent to around 80 pence]. The High Level Panel report proposes ending poverty by 2030. It also proposes eliminating preventable infant deaths and reducing maternal mortality even further.
Put Sustainable Development at the Core: For decades, the environmental and development agendas have been separate. The report brings them together. This means tackling climate change, and making patterns of consumption and production more sustainable.
Transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth: Growth is the only long term solution to end poverty, meaning a much greater focus on promoting jobs through business and entrepreneurship, infrastructure, education and skills, and trade.
Build peace and effective, open and accountable institutions for all: Peace and good governance are not optional extras. Responsive and legitimate institutions should encourage the rule of law, property rights, freedom of speech and the media, open political choice and access to justice.
Forge a new Global Partnership. Poverty eradication is not just about national governments. Businesses, community groups, donors, local governments and others all need to work together to see the eradication of extreme poverty.
The panel proposed 12 measurable goals and 54 targets for the international community to rally around to implement these five big ideas.
The final set of post 2015 goals will be negotiated between governments in the UN over the next two years. The High Level Panel’s report provides a bold and practical illustration of how an ambitious and wide-ranging agenda can be brought together in a simple and compelling set of goals. The UK will work with others to ensure that the messages contained in the High Level Panel report are reflected in the final set of UN development goals for post 2015, and have a lasting impact for the poorest people in the world.
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