UN urged to embrace 2030 goal on ending extreme poverty

International Development Secretary Justine Greening, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Liberian minister of agriculture Florence Chenoweth The panel was led by the UK, Indonesia and Liberia

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A commitment to end extreme poverty by 2030 is one of the key recommendations from an international panel co-chaired by David Cameron.

The British prime minister urged a "new global partnership" to tackle some of the world's biggest problems as the body's report was presented to the UN.

Other goals include improvements in women's rights, universal access to water and ensuring food security.

But an explicit commitment to reduce income inequality is not included.

Aid organisations have been pushing for this to be recognised as part of a new framework for international development after the expiry of the 2015 deadline for achieving the targets in the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

'Clear roadmap'

The MDGs sought to halve extreme poverty, defined as people earning less than $1.25 (83p) a day, but the panel called for a more ambitious goal over the following 15 years.


The panel said its proposals aimed to carry forward the best of the Millennium Development Goals, which it credited with the fastest poverty reduction in human history, things like tackling hunger, healthcare, water and education.

But it also recommended a broader approach to global development.

At the core should be efforts to slow climate change and protect the environment, the panel said.

One of its specific recommendations is to oblige big companies to report their impact on the environment in addition to their financial accounts

The 12 new targets also include suggestions to strengthen productive capacity and improve business environments, and they recognize the importance of peace, good governance and rule of law.

This more holistic approach to development has the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030, defined as living on less than one dollar and 25 cents a day.

The panel's report will serve as the basis for a two-year debate among the UN's 193 member states on the development agenda to be adopted in 2015.

Thursday's report, to be presented to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, will form the basis for two years' negotiation on the agenda to replace the MDGs.

Mr Cameron, who chaired the panel alongside Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Indonesian leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, said the report set out a "clear roadmap" for eradicating extreme poverty by 2030.

"We need a new global partnership to finish the job on the current Millennium Development Goals, tackle the underlying causes of poverty and champion sustainable development," he said.

'Squandered opportunity'

Among 12 measurable goals set out in the report are an end to child marriage and equal rights for women to open bank accounts and own property.

The panel also recommends bringing together development and environmental agendas, with targets for reducing food waste, slowing deforestation and protecting ecosystems.

It also stresses the need for countries to give citizens confidence in their governments by promoting the rule of law, free speech, transparency and cracking down on corruption.

With Mr Cameron on holiday in Ibiza, the UK is being represented at the report's launch in New York by International Development Secretary Justine Greening.

Labour said Mr Cameron, who discussed the findings of the report on a recent visit to the United Nations, had squandered a "prestigious opportunity" to show leadership on the world stage.

'Ambitious vision'

A UK government spokesman said the proposals set out in the document were bold.

"They get to grips with tackling the causes of poverty - weak institutions, corruption and a lack of basic freedoms - as well as setting out an ambitious vision of ending things like hunger, illiteracy and violence against women," he said.

"This is vital work because Britain cannot compete, thrive and lead in isolation from the rest of the world."

Oxfam said it was pleased by the 2030 poverty target but warned that future goals would be undermined "without action to ensure that wealth is spread more fairly".

"Billions of people risk being left behind by economic growth, and in a world of finite resources the wealthiest cannot continue to expect more and more without hurting the rest," said its senior policy advisor Katy Wright.

Save The Children said it was up to all UN members to commit to these "world-changing and ambitious measures without watering them down or losing the focus of the report".

The Millennium Development Goal target for access to improved sources of water has already been reached as has halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty but others, including on improving access to education, are unlikely to be met, the UN's most recent report says.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    Unless you end poverty you cannot have a choice - we need to get rid of poverty because it is not only about food it is about education .
    that you can choose the number of children you really want

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    Impossible. Poverty will not be sorted out as long as countries are ruled by corrupt dictators. Africa being a prime example.

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.


    The world produces more than enough food to feed every person each year.

    Lack of food is not the issue.


  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    I think I must living in a parallel world!
    With unemployment in EZ countries now larger in equivalent terms to the entire population of Belgium; a persisting worldwide depression based on massive 'sovereign' debt over the entire western economy that is likely to take over 20 years to rectify; and with continuing corruption in developing nations - although laudable, this goal is a total fantasy!

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    Utter RUBBISH:

    This Government is responsible for driving more families into Poverty than any other in the last 50 years. They make Thatcher (the milk snatcher) look positively benevolent!

    Stop driving people from their homes, kill the dreaded bedroom tax, and end the abuse of the vulnerable in this country

    People are killing themselves because of the actions of this Government!


  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    83. jgm2
    I bet you think that dividing up global wealth and dividing it by 6 billion will mean that your 'modest' lifestyle remains unchanged.

    You'll be in for one hell of a shock if that happened.

    I cannot help thinking that whoever created this place thought we could make a better job of it.
    But human nature through the ages of theft with violence has left us where we are.
    But we could try!

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    all the time we let the top 1% of world society have 99% of world wealth"

    If you were more concerend at your own wealth than that of other people, maybe you'd have more of it?

    You can sit and whine about how 'unfair' it is or you can create some of your own wealth.

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    It is easy to end poverty in these places you simply have to stop them breeding more of themselves who then ends up starving and survivors competing for scarce world resources. It is not a poverty problem it is population problem.

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    Whilst their intentions are honourable, their hearts are not in it - why? - because they are not prepared to address the root-cause of the problem - over population.

    Birth control is the key - but political correctness and the fear of a religious backlash ties their hands.

    A bunch of well intended folk too concerned about their reputation to be brave and grip-the-nettle.

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    @88. yowatusay

    Can the world really support 3 bowls of rice for every person on earth and a chicken in every pot, that`s not just for the people in the UK but for all the poor in the whole world.
    easily. Just the food that the developed world throws away would go a long way. And countries like the US with an obesity problem, they consume way way more than you chicken and rice.

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.


    "Dear Africa, South America, Asia, and other "poor nations","

    Those are continents.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    "Eliminating poverty" is the sort of thing that politicians sign up to for fear of being seen as heartless, much like "human rights", but it's an impossible dream.

    Poverty is relative. It could only be eliminated in an ultra-communist state in which everyone earns the same regardless of their contribution. That's not going to happen.

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    Can the world really support 3 bowls of rice for every person on earth and a chicken in every pot, that`s not just for the people in the UK but for all the poor in the whole world.

    It ain`t gonna happen, there ain`t never gonna be that much food around for all and the gravy train stopped in the EU long ago.

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    Dear Africa, South America, Asia, and other "poor nations",

    When dealing with the UN, or any government entities, please heed this advice:

    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."
    ~President Reagan

    Just look Bangladesh's experience, @71.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    More hot air from wealthy folks telling us what they intend to do.
    I expect nothing from these people and receive it in abundance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    Very idealistic, but the world is not a utopia and nor will it ever be one. Corruption, greed and the resulting poverty will always be prevalent in parts of the world. Add the inevitable political bickering, warmongering and red tape, and you've no chance. Are we going to invade corrupt nations to bring about "prosperity"?

    Ending poverty is clearly a noble goal, but it'll never happen.

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    Poor old Dave!

    Scrambling around for another cheap headline.

    Truly heir to Blair.

    It's the economy, stupid!

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    77 Glazier

    'They will be all the time we let the top 1% of world society have 99% of world wealth.
    The only solution is a fairer distribution of world wealth'

    I bet you think that dividing up global wealth and dividing it by 6 billion will mean that your 'modest' lifestyle remains unchanged.

    You'll be in for one hell of a shock if that happened.

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.


    Why are you playing poverty top trumps?

    What purpose does that serve?

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    @70. ResCyn
    Let's see what happens when 40 million of us decide not to go to work on Monday.
    they expend millions, if not billions, on propaganda to make sure that never happens

    the sheep are lead to believe that 'market knows best' and we should just throw lots more money at corporations and a capitalist utopia is 'just round the corner'.


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