Monday, 27 May 2013
Putting People and Planet First: Business as usual is not an option
Progress on healthcare and education but poverty still major problem
The United Nations established 8 anti-poverty goals in the year 2000, with huge progress achieved in areas such as healthcare, education and millions more have access to safe drinking water. Yet poverty still affects billions of people across the world. And the world is a very different place to when the goals were designed at the turn of the century. A number of challenges, such as climate change, have emerged while others such as inequality have taken deeper root, while the systems by which we live our lives have been shown to serve the interests of only a select few, unsustainable and destructive in the long term.
A new approach to tackling poverty
The position proposes that poverty be looked at from a multi-dimensional perspective that encompasses a shortage of capabilities, choices, security and power as well as resources such as income. “Measurements of Gross Domestic Product fail to capture the entire picture as benefits of growth are not shared equally. We therefore propose focusing on a well-being measure rather than having a goal on income poverty alone which would be used as an overarching indicator comprehensively measuring the outcome of the whole framework. “
The interlinked nature of issues must be reflected in a comprehensive post-2015 framework which addresses all three dimensions of sustainability (social, economic and environmental).
Not just for developing countries
Given the nature and scale of the global challenges the world is facing, it is no longer possible to imagine a framework which is designed predominantly for implementation by developing countries. The post-2015 framework must be universal, with global goals pertaining to all countries and all countries contributing to their achievement. Key principles for a post-2015 framework First and foremost, the principles of human rights like equality, and nondiscrimination, participation, empowerment and responsibility. Therefore the most marginalised must be prioritised including girls’ and women’s empowerment through gender equality.
Download the report here.