See below for a guest post from MFAN partner Save the Children.
2015 could be a momentous year in human history. It could be the year that governments across the world put a deadline on their longstanding commitment to end extreme poverty, agreeing on a new global development framework to ensure that no child dies unnecessarily, every child gets a quality education, and every child is protected from violence.
Since they were agreed at the turn of the century, the Millennium Development Goals have provided an international road map for the global fight against poverty, helping to spur significant breakthroughs for children. Compared to 1990, 14,000 fewer children die every day, and 50 million more children are now in primary school. 700 million fewer people live in absolute poverty.
This progress is incredible, and has brought us to a critical juncture. For the first time ever, an end to extreme poverty is in sight. The new post-2015 framework must therefore take the global fight against poverty to the next level, finishing the job that the MDGs started. It must be bold, inspiring and ambitious, galvanising the international community to take focused and coordinated action to end extreme poverty. The aim must be to ensure that every single child has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential in life – no one must be left behind.
This week, Save the Children is launching a new report, Framework for the Future, presenting our vision of a framework that would be capable of bringing these aims to fruition. Our proposals include twelve concrete goals with associated targets that, if achieved, would see an end to extreme poverty within a generation.
The goals are feasible but ambitious. As we have demonstrated through previous research, they won’t be achieved unless the international community steps up in the fight against poverty – tackling persistent inequalities that are trapping children in poverty, boosting government accountability, and building fair and robust global partnerships for development. And, importantly, the new framework must integrate human development with environmental sustainability. If we continue to diminish the world’s natural resources at current rates, we run the risk of reversing the achievements of recent decades and plunging millions back into poverty.
To support international progress toward faster and more sustainable development pathways, we offer a number of innovative measures in our proposed framework. These include:
• Interim ‘stepping stone’ targets to ensure that goals are pursued by reaching those who are furthest behind first, and that gaps between the world’s haves and have-nots are closing.
• The criterion that no target is met unless met for all – rich and poor, advantaged and disadvantaged alike – a proposal first put forward by the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on the post-2015 agenda last year.
• Measures to promote an integrated approach to the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development, including ‘target links’ to harness synergies and highlight the interconnectedness of the goals.
Framework for the Future develops and refines the original proposals that Save the Children put forward in January 2013 at a time when the post-2015 process was just gaining momentum. We’re now presenting this updated edition at a critical juncture in the post-2015 process, as the international Open Working Group, with a mandate from the UN General Assembly, is shaping its recommendations for the new framework. These recommendations could be pivotal in determining whether the new framework is fit for purpose, capable of inspiring and uniting the international community.
As the contours of the new framework start to take shape, governments must keep levels of ambition high. Now is the time for bold and visionary leadership to build a strong framework for the future – one that is capable of ending extreme poverty for good.