MDGs progress and post-MDGs priorities in the Commonwealth

MDGs progress and post-MDGs priorities in the Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Secretariat commissioned a review of the status of MDGs achievement in Commonwealth member countries. The objectives of this review were to assess existing evidence on achievements in social progress and to identify key issues and linkages on the three critical social development sectors - health, education, and gender. The review also considered overarching themes that might underpin the multi-dimensional development of the three sectors post-2015. This discussion paper presents the findings and recommendations of the review to inform the debate on the priorities for the Commonwealth in the post-MDGs world.

At the global level, several of the MDG targets have already been reached or are on course to being fulfilled. There are significant differences, however, in the pace of progress across the world. The data suggests that across regions, the best progress has been made in eliminating gender gaps in primary school enrolment, while maternal health, women’s paid employment and political representation are performing worst. Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Oceania, the three regions with the highest proportion of members of the Commonwealth, will miss most of the targets. This provides the rationale for a closer examination of the progress in achieving the MDGs in Commonwealth countries.

There is an urgent need for developed countries to re-imagine their growth models. They must lead the world towards solutions to climate change by creating and adopting low-carbon and other sustainable development technologies and passing them on to others. Otherwise, further strains on food, water and energy supplies and increases in global carbon emissions will be inevitable – with added pressures from billions more people expected to join the middle class in the next two decades. People still living in poverty, or those in near poverty, who have been the most vulnerable to recent food, fuel and financial crises, would then be at grave risk of slipping back into poverty once more.

The report identifies five transformative shifts as part of a universal post-2015 development agenda to build on the progress made towards achieving the MDGs: leave no one behind; put sustainable development at the core; transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth; build peace and effective, open and accountable institutions for all; and forge a new global partnership that will transform vision to action, using improved data and evidence of what works to guide implementation. Finally, recommendations are suggested, including investing in human capital as a central goal, continuing to improve multi-sectoral analyses, continue to strengthen and facilitate consensus building and policy reform, and provide leadership.

[adapted from author]

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