The Eight Millenniums Goals , known as the MDGs is a process set by the United Nations in order to help develop countries and bring a some what equilibrium balance between states.There are approximately 193 United Nations member states and 23 international organizations who are committed to achieve these targets The eight targets are, “to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. To achieve universal primary education. To promote gender equality and empower women. To reduce child mortality. To improve maternal health. To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. To ensure environmental sustainability. To develop a global partnership for development. With 2015 being the expiry date, it is a race against time, time which the MDGs do not have much left of.
But what progress has been made? According to the (Millennium Development Goals Report, 2014) only three of the eight targets have been met so far, for example goal number one – extreme poverty. The report indicates that during the 1990s, almost half of the population in developing regions lived on less than $1.25 a day. This rate has significantly dropped to 22 per cent by 2010, reducing the number of people living in extreme poverty by 700 million. Furthermore Between the year 2000 and 2012, the number children out of school worldwide declined from 100 million to 58 million, and the global primary completion rate increased from 81% to 92%, (World Bank, 2014). However are we promising more than we can deliver? Critics argue that MDGs adopt a sense of utopianism. Easterly (2005) argues that “driven aid packages have so many different goals that it weakens the accountability and profitability of meeting any one goal”. Moreover countries have different starting points and face huge diverse constraints and capacities in financial, institutional and human dimensions. The MDGs need to reshape their goals to be ambitious yet realistic (Fukuda- Parr, S, 2012)
One must come to the realization that underdevelopment is a deeper and complex issue. Factors such as culture are seen to play a big role in hindering development and equality. According to politician (Moynihan as cited in Harrison, L.E., Huntington,S.P, 2000), the central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. Traditional cultures such as the norms and values of people from third world countries are seen to hinder progression. For example if a members of societies continue to believe that there is no need to educate girls, as their ‘place’ in is in unpaid labour such as housework, then I strongly believe that goal number three which is to promote equality and the empowerment of women will be wholly implausible goal to meet.
United Nations have been very critical and have condemned the kind of corruption that occurs blaming it on reasons such as traditional customs which reportedly hinder development. However one must come to the realization and end hypocrisy once and for all. The West and the Third world aren’t so different after all. In the past, whenever human rights were violated globally there was a sense of urgency to intervene however ,however when it comes to basic human rights being violated in the West its is given a for example child slavery and human trafficking which seem very apparent in the UK.
So is the idea of global development attainable or is it a sense of utopia?
By Hufan Jama
Easterly, W (2005) ‘The Utopian Nightmare ‘, Foreign Policy , (), pp. 61 [Online]. Available at: http://williameasterly.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/fp_utopiannightmare_091005.pdf (Accessed: 21st November 2014).
Fukuda- Parr, S. (2012) ‘Recapturing the narrative of international development ‘, in Wilkinson, R. and Hulme, D. (ed.) The Millennium Development Goals and Beyond: Global Development after 2015. 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN: Routledge , pp. 49.
Harrison, L.E., Huntington,S.P (2000) ‘Acknowledgments’, in Harrison, L.E., Huntington,S.P (ed.) Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress. United States of America : Basic Books , pp. xiv.
The United Nations (2014) The Millennium Development Goals Report , New York : United Nations New York
The United Nations (2014) We Can End Poverty: Millennium Development Goals and Beyond 2015, Available at: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/ (Accessed: 21st November 2014 ).
The World Bank (2014) Achieve Universal Primary Education by 2015, Available at: http://www.worldbank.org/mdgs/education.html (Accessed: 21st November 2014 ).