Lecturer, School of Nursing & Midwifery, University Campus Suffolk
With the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals approaching rapidly, policy-makers, academics and civil society actors are debating how successful the goals have been and what should replace them [1,2]. Success in meeting the goals has been at best patchy. Whilst targets on poverty, slums and water have been met  this has largely been attributed to the success of emerging economies, most notably China and India . Other goals remain way off target and where progress has been made persistent levels of inequality are evident both within and across countries . One school of thought is that the Millennium Development Goals reflect a flawed project that focused too narrowly on specific indicators of poverty and inequality rather than underlying sociological, political and economic factors. The argument follows that they should be replaced by an enhanced commitment nationally, internationally and globally to the broader goals of social justice, equity and good governance.
At a UN summit held in September 2013, world leaders met to discuss the MDG +15 agenda, as it has become known. It was noted that whilst great achievements had been recorded, the overall response had been too uneven, with significant gaps. Committing to scale up the response to extreme poverty, hunger and disease, a report published to coincide with the summit identified five ‘big transformative shifts’, cross-cutting themes, which participants argued should form a universal agenda for what comes next (see Panel 1). Read more…