Can the world lift millions of children out of extreme poverty over the next 15 years?
At the dawn of the new millennium, the community of nations came together at the United Nations to adopt a set of human development benchmarks. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) included specific goals and targets for reducing child and maternal deaths, improving access to primary school education and other laudable causes.
After years of steady gains, the MDGs will expire this year. And the community of nations is trying to hammer out a new set of goals and targets to replace the MDGs.
However, before world leaders commit to the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), they should first consider how the MDGs helped and sometimes failed the world’s poorest children.
“Every child deserves a fair chance in life,” Anthony Lake writes in the foreword to a new UNICEF report, which examines the lessons of the MDGs and how to apply them to the proposed Sustainable Development Goals. According to Lake, who is the executive director of UNICEF, humanity’s future depends on ensuring that the SDGs reach those children “left behind as we pursued the MDGs” agenda.