THIS generation has a unique opportunity to eradicate extreme
poverty, the Prime Minister has said.
Mr Cameron was speaking in his capacity as co-chairman of the
High Level Panel convened by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon,
to advise him on the global development agenda after 2015, when the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will expire.
At the end of three days of discussions in London, Mr Cameron
said on Friday that the principal aim of the panel should be "to
focus on finishing the job of ending extreme poverty. . . That is
something politicians have been talking about for a while, but, for
the first time, I believe this generation really has the
opportunity to do it."
He emphasised the importance of focusing on "the 'golden thread'
of the conditions that help move people and countries from poverty
to wealth: the absence of conflict and corruption, the presence of
the rule of law, property rights, strong institutions".
The chief executive of Save the Children, Justin Forsyth, said
on Thursday of last week that achieving the eradication of extreme
poverty required "a commitment to reaching the very poorest
children, often discriminated against because they are girls or
because of caste".
A report, Born Equal, published by the charity on
Wednesday of last week, stated that 70 per cent of the world's
poorest people lived in middle-income countries, and argued that
"tackling inequality is one of the most effective ways to
accelerate progress towards eradicating global poverty."
Christian Aid echoed concerns about inequality, citing research
that found that the proportion of malnourished children under five
was 76.1 per cent higher in the Quilombola community of Brazil than
in the population at large. Its briefing for the High Level Panel
meeting also called on the post-2015 global development framework
to be "underpinned by sustainability". The UN Rio+20 summit held in
News, 29 June) agreed a plan to set global sustainable
development goals, which may be combined with those that emerge
from the High Level Panel.
On Thursday of last week, the Church of England's international
affairs adviser, Dr Charles Reed, said that the Panel must ensure
that the voices of those directly affected by poverty were heard
and valued. "If we are to learn anything from the way MDGs were
negotiated, it is that, if the post-MDG development agenda is to
command widespread legitimacy, it cannot be defined by a group of
experts and technocrats working behind closed doors in a way that
leaves unchallenged a model of development centred on the concerns
Last week's meeting in London was the first of three. Subsequent
meetings in Liberia and Indonesia will focus on national
development and global partnerships.
Monitoring of progress towards achieving the MDGs, set in 2000,
shows patchy results. For example, the target to halve the
proportion of people without access to safe drinking water was met
in 2010, and girls have reached parity with boys in primary-school
enrolment, but the target to reduce child mortality by two-thirds
is unlikely to be met.