Past Edition
Edition One, 2004
The Millennium Development Goals
- more broken promises?

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Edition Summary:

Reality check

In this edition of Global Future, our contributors grapple with what it means to have a set of Millennium Development Goals that supposedly belongs to all of humanity and in unprecented ways.

McArthur and Sachs, Shetty, Ramphele, Kastberg and Bradbury emphasise ways that government and civil society can own and implement the Goals. Nkuhlu reminds us that Africa adds important dimensions to this global effort.

Clearly, there is no shortage of resources to meet the Goals, even before 2015. But it is not just a matter of "more funds", and the MDGs are not a global shopping list. They claim space amid all the other real-world structures that seem bent on making or breaking human development (and human hearts).

Such as trade and finance systems that, Khor and other contributors argue, are antagonistic to the Goals and may scupper them unless urgent steps are taken. Such as exclusion and discrimination, which Nowlan argues make it critical to link the MDGs with human rights law; and while the Goals' emphasis on children is a triumph, Beales reminds us of other vulnerable people to whom they must apply.

What does all this add up to? That even as we aim squarely and purposefully at achieving the Goals, peripheral vision and lateral thinking will show us that we are pressing up against structures and mindsets that simply have to change.

Are the MDGs, as Whaites asks, just more "serial target-setting"? Are they, along with countless other unfinished or unsupported human ventures, destined for history's recycling depot? Or will we seize the challenge that they throw to us?


  • Priorities for meeting the Millennium Development Goals -John McArthur &Jeffrey Sachs
  • No excuses! - Salil Shetty
  • Goal 8 - critical issues for trade and finance - Martin Khor
  • Will the MDGs reach the forgotten poor? - Sylvia Beales
  • Why the serial target-setting must finally produce results - Alan Whaites
  • Embracing Africa's MDG challenge - Wiseman Nkuhlu
  • The MDGs - under threat - Patricia Forner
  • The MDGs in an unaccountable global order - Tim Kessler & Nancy Alexander
  • Turning our challenges into opportunities - Mamphela Ramphele
  • The MDGs and human rights - Kirsty Nowlan
  • Development of people, not just pockets - Nils Kastberg
  • The MDGs and NGOs - Jaisankar Sarma
  • Seizing the time - global advocacy on the MDGs - Steve Bradbury
  • Faith to reach out - Dean Hirsch
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