No Compromise on MDGs

The Secretary-General is ready to remind leaders of the G-20 nations at their coming summit who is really suffering from the financial crisis. And he’s not planning on letting them fudge the deadline for the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), the bold development initiatives set in 2000.

Ban said: “We cannot move this target date. 2015 is the deadline and target. We must be able to keep the target.”

You tell ’em, Ban.

The problem, of course, is that it is not the G-20 countries that are most struggling to uphold their commitments to reducing poverty, promoting good governance, eradicating disease, and fulfilling the other prerogatives of the MDGs. The countries that are behind in their 2015 targets won’t be represented at the April 2 London meeting, which is perhaps why Ban feels the need to so strongly campaign on their behalf. The wealth of the G-20 countries, however, will inevitably have to play a crucial role in helping developing nations meet their targets. Pushing for a hard and fast 2015 deadline, even if it looks improbable that all of the goals will be met by then, is the best option here, for acting too audaciously will certainly prove less harmful to the world’s poor than acting not audaciously enough.

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