Political will is missing from development debate as UN reveals MDG benefits are uneven

The political will that delivered the Millennium Development Goals is absent from today’s development debate, yet even bolder political leadership is needed if we are to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals, said Oxfam today in response to the release of the UN’s final Millennium Development Goals Report

The UN report provides an assessment of global and regional progress towards the MDGs. It shows that progress has been made in the global fight against absolute poverty in the set 15 years but the benefits have been uneven. The new Sustainable Development Goals which aim to eradicate poverty and protect the planet are due to be agreed in New York in September.

Takumo Yamada, Senior Policy Advisor at Oxfam, said:

“The progress of the Millennium Development Goals demonstrates what can be achieved with the necessary political will, backed up with sufficient quality funding and the right policies.  With millions more children surviving and making it into school the results speak for themselves.

“MDGs were made possible largely because of a scale up in the quantity and quality of aid in the early years. Sadly progress has stalled since the financial crisis, and the lack of a strong accountability mechanism has allowed rich countries to turn their backs on the world’s poorest people.

“We will not lock in the MDGs or deliver on a new set of ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ that aim to leave no one behind unless we tackle the extreme concentration of wealth, resources and power in our world. This will take political courage and active citizenship.  

“Getting a fair and effective financial framework in place is a critical first step. Governments must seize the opportunity of the Finance for Development meeting in Addis next week to reform the global tax system and clamp down on corporate tax dodgers who are cheating poor countries out of billions of dollars every year – money that could be spent on tackling poverty and inequality.   Rich governments must also recommit to deliver on their decades' old promise to deliver 0.7 per cent of their national income in aid and ensure at least half of this money is spent in the world’s poorest countries.” 

Contact information: 

Anna Ratcliff, in Oxford: +44 7796993288, anna.ratcliff@oxfaminternational.org

For updates, please follow @Oxfam.

You may also like: Recommendations for the Zero Draft of the Outcome Document for the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda