The Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) were laid out by global leaders 13 years ago with the mindset to halve extreme poverty by 2015. Due to a strong commitment from millions of world citizens and tremendous global effort, these goals are considered within reach. While the official countdown is on until the 2015 deadline, many have started to wonder what will come next once the 2015 deadline is reached. What will be the Millenium Development Goals post-2015?
Early chatter has talk about maintaining current goals and infusing new MDGs with new deadlines. As well marketed and global an effort the MDGs have become, they have been received and effective in some regions better than others. Some estimate that no more than eight percent of the world is fully aware of the MDGs, a meager figure in the context of our global population. Even when I ask people around me, most are only vaguely aware of the MDGs at all. It is a message that needs to be reached to a greater number of people, something that can be better accomplished through early education, involvement with government agencies, NGOs and the private sector.
Emphasizing broader familiarity with the MDGs can lead to a stronger platform to expand on the goals and the world’s needs. The MDGs as a platform for further change is how some individuals, such as Dr. Raphael Ogar Oko, who wrote that the MDGs for 2015 are just the beginning. He feels all of the MDGs can be expanded in time, including all levels of education, not just early childhood, encompassing more diseases, and paternal health as well as maternal health. He lays out more or less every conflicting issue you can think of, whether it is reducing terrorism, inter-religious harmony, greater global government participation, even a revamped United Nations. While it may seem like too much, the point is that these Millenium Development Goals should be embedded in our thinking, even if they take longer to achieve. Hence the “millenium” in MDGs.
The bottom line is the more people aware of MDGs, the more ideas and contributions to their development can be made. No one is saying no to world peace or conflict resolution. However, the world is a big place with billions of people, and it is going to take an increased global effort on a localized level to reach people in the most effective way possible. That is what organizations such as World We Want intend to do by reaching out to people the world over to understand what priorities are on a cultural level to help build a collective vision for future development goals. The march toward the deadline is on, but it is never too early to start thinking about the Millenium Development Goals post-2015.