The report, Ending Poverty in Our Generation, sets out the 10 global goals which we believe the world needs to commit to in order to help us achieve that vision. These are what we believe should succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are set to expire in 2015.
The development goals that come after 2015 should build on the strengths of the MDGs. They must achieve a balance of human and economic development while ensuring environmental sustainability. And they must address the weaknesses – including the failure to tackle inequality – which has resulted in too many people being left behind.
We have already achieved a lot. The current MDGs have helped to reduce the number of daily child deaths by 14,000 and to lift 600 million people out of poverty. But in the years ahead we can do better. The goals we want to see achieved by 2030 include ending preventable child deaths and ensuring that every child receives a quality education.
Eradicating extreme poverty will not be easy. It will take bold, innovative thinking and, most importantly, action. Davos brings together many of the people who can help to make it happen. So, I’m pleased to see that there are many sessions on the post-2015 agenda firmly on the agenda. This needs to be a discussion we all take part in – business, academia, governments, communities and civil society. What’s more, once Davos is over, this must not fall off the agenda but remain a debate which business and political leaders continue to put their minds to.
This really matters. Perhaps the biggest shortcomings of the last set of MDGs concern the eighth and final goal, which promised a global partnership for development. This year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting can help set us on a path towards establishing a global partnership that really works.
Achieving these goals will benefit us all, not only those who will escape a life of poverty. Children who survive and grow up healthy contribute to thriving, prosperous societies that create new markets for goods. High-quality education means that children will be equipped with the skills they need to help their countries flourish and which companies need to operate effectively. Development makes perfect business sense.
Finally, our report was published on the same day as the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2013 Report. The two reports have much in common. Our report sets out the need for new and ambitious goals, including building societies that are resilient to natural disasters – just one of the risks highlighted by the World Economic Forum.
Distilling the complexities of human development into 10 goals is a difficult task, which will attract healthy criticism. This is the purpose of our report: to ensure that early discussions are as bold, concrete and ambitious as possible. The hopes and aspirations of millions of world citizens rest in the promise of a world free from poverty. Our report sets out what we at Save the Children believe is necessary to achieve that. At Davos I am looking forward to hearing from political and business leaders about their own ideas and plans for achieving this ambition.
Author: Jasmine Whitbread, CEO of Save the Children International and Co Chair for the World Economic Forum Summit on India 2012
Image: A boy holds money in the outskirts of Tegucigalpa REUTERS/Stringer