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Ambitious new development framework to end extreme poverty within 20 years

Source: Save the Children - India - Fri, 1 Feb 2013 15:29 GMT
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New Delhi. 1 February 2013. Save the Children’s new report Ending Poverty in Our Generation outlines an ambitious new development framework which, it says, can help all countries end extreme poverty in the next 20 years. This is the first time that an organisation proposes specific new targets to replace the MDGs. Salman Khurshid, Minister for External Affairs, applauded the report while launching it and said that ït will be of immense use to leaders across the globe. “Ïnnovation will play a big role post-2015 and India is committed to such innovations as are suggested by this report,” he added.

The MDGs were eight international targets adopted by every United Nations member state in 2000 with commitments to tackle global ills such as extreme poverty, child deaths and a lack of free education. Progress has been mixed, with some developing countries on track to achieve all targets and others looking unlikely to meet any.

“We have an historic opportunity to put an end to the devastating cycle of poverty,” said Harpal Singh, Save the Children’s Chairman. “By committing to these ambitious but achievable new targets, we really can become the generation that ends extreme poverty forever.” He added: “The MDGs have lifted 600 million people out of poverty and helped 56 million more children to go to school. But there were gaps in that framework that must be addressed and we call on the UN Member Countries to commit to new targets to secure a prosperous, sustainable future for the world's poorest children.

Louis George, UNICEF representative, drawing attention to how critical India’s role is, said, “India has the lion’s share of the world’s children and any impact here is going to make a big difference to the global agenda for children.” He felt that the report contained ideas which were very acceptable to UNICEF’.

The report says the end of extreme poverty is now in sight because of remarkable progress made in improving the lives of millions over the last two decades. For example, the number of under-five deaths worldwide declined from nearly 12 million in 1990 to under 7 million in 2011.

The report warns of three major threats to the process:

-     A failure to tackle inequality in the framework will mean progress will be too slow and some groups will be left behind.

-     A desire to cram too much into the framework leading to a lowest common denominator outcome.

-     A fragmented and already fractious political process at UN level.

The UN appointed High-Level Panel is meeting in Monrovia for the third and final time today and tomorrow. Going forward the replacement framework will be decided through an inter-country process.

‘Reducing Inequality - India Case Study’ was another report that was presented at the event by Save the Children. Eradicating poverty and preventable child deaths require a dedication to reaching the hardest to reach, the report states. Income inequality undermines long-term economic growth and inequalities between groups of people pose a barrier to further progress in human well-being. Inequalities in India are observed in terms of income, health, education and other dimensions of human development as well as between the states, rural and urban areas and different social groups. There is evidence to suggest that the poorer sections of India were actually further marginalised under the neoliberal economic regime introduced in India in the early 1990s. States that experienced more ‘growth’ actually had worsening inequalities, revealed the report.

Ends

For further information please contact Devendra Tak, National Manager – Media & Communication, Save the Children. Email: d.tak@savethechildren.in

Notes to Editors:

Save the Children is today the first organisation to put forward a proposed framework for consideration by the panel and governments around the world.

Save the Children proposes 10 goals:

  • Goal 1: By 2030 we will eradicate extreme poverty and reduce relative poverty through inclusive growth and decent work
  • Goal 2: By 2030 we will eradicate hunger, halve stunting, and ensure universal access to sustainable food, water and sanitation
  • Goal 3: By 2030 we will end preventable child and maternal mortality and provide basic healthcare for all
  • Goal 4: By 2030 we will ensure children everywhere receive quality education and have good learning outcomes
  • Goal 5: By 2030 we will ensure all children live a life free from all forms of violence, are protected in conflict and thrive in a safe family environment
  • Goal 6: By 2030 governance will be more open, accountable and inclusive
  • Goal 7: By 2030 we will establish effective global partnerships for development
  • Goal 8: By 2030 we will build disaster-resilient societies
  • Goal 9: By 2030 we will ensure a sustainable, healthy and resilient environment for all
  • Goal 10: By 2030 we will deliver sustainable energy to all

The post-2015 framework should build on the strengths of the MDGs, including specific and measurable goals, targets and indicators. The framework should set common global aspirations (recognising the importance of global cooperation) and allow countries to set national targets to suit their level of development.

The goals must achieve a balance of human development, economic development and environmental sustainability – the UN SG’s 3 pillars of sustainable development – to ensure progress in human wellbeing is sustainable for future generations. We cannot reduce malnutrition without clean water. We cannot end preventable child deaths without cleaner air.

The framework must also address some important gaps in the MDG framework, particularly:

::    Inequality. Eradicating poverty and preventable child deaths require a dedication to reaching the hardest to reach. Income inequality undermines long-term economic growth and inequalities between groups of people pose a barrier to further progress in human well-being.

::    Accountability. The MDGs lacked a robust accountability mechanism. We propose a global mechanism to ensure global cooperation for global development but ultimately citizens must hold their governments to account, so there must also be national accountability mechanisms in place.

::    Quality/ensuring access does not compromise outcomes. While the current MDGs have rapidly improved school enrolments, in many schools those students are not learning.

::    Systems strengthening. The framework should promote strong service delivery systems that deliver for those populations that need them most. The current MDGs prioritise particular diseases for example and have diverted resources away from bigger health problems in some countries.

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