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New Development Goals Should Acknowledge Health, Education, Aid, But Focus On Economic Reform

Noting the 67th session of the U.N. General Assembly begins on September 25, Charles Kenny, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and a Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation, writes in his Bloomberg Businessweek blog, “Small World,” “Accompanying the usual podium speeches will be the start of backroom discussions as to what will replace the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs], a set of targets for global progress agreed to at the 2000 General Assembly meetings.” He continues, “The original Millennium Goals committed the world to halve poverty between 1990 and 2015, alongside ambitious targets to reduce childhood deaths, ensure that every child worldwide completes primary school, safeguard equal access to education for girls, improve access to sanitation, and reduce deaths from maternal mortality, AIDS, and malaria,” and he adds, “The planet has actually done pretty well in meeting these initial targets.”

While “[a]ny new set of development goals should acknowledge health, education, and the role for aid, front-and-center,” he writes that “if the international community isn’t going to sell poor people short and wants to help them get what they say they want most, it is clear what progress needs to happen: reforming economic relations so that the world’s most-disadvantaged benefit further from trade, investment, and migration.” Kenny concludes, “It’s time to promise real reform of a global economic system that helps keep poor people poor” (9/16).