MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Decent jobs, liveable cities, and protection against disasters should become part of a new global blueprint for development that could aim to end poverty by 2030, says a new report co-authored by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
"The Millennium Development Goals have been a powerful tool for rallying global support around common objectives including poverty reduction," said Kazu Sakai, Director General of ADB's Strategy and Policy Department. "The report proposes the inclusion of new goals on zero income poverty and zero hunger and malnutrition by as early as 2030, as part of a broad post-2015 agenda."
With less than 1,000 days remaining until the 2015 deadline to meet the MDGs, the report, Asia-Pacific Aspirations: Perspectives for a Post-2015 Development Agenda, provides an insight into where the region stands with the MDGs and what it must do to accelerate their implementation. More importantly, the report proposes 12 specific goals that the international community should work towards to end poverty and other deprivations by 2030. Adopting these goals would also help respond to aspirations from Asia and the Pacific.
Apart from aiming to eliminate poverty, hunger and malnutrition, the report says a potential set of future goals could include gender equality; decent jobs for everyone of working age; health and quality education for all; improved living conditions with a focus on the poor; liveable cities; environmental responsibility and management of natural resources; disaster risk reduction; accountable and responsive governments; and strong development partnerships.
The report follows months of consultations with a wide range of national and sub-regional stakeholders, and contributes to an ongoing United Nations-led process to draw up a post-2015 global development agenda. It was co-produced with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, and the United Nations Development Programme.
The Asia-Pacific region remains woefully off-track in meeting the MDGs on such basic areas as hunger, health, and sanitation, the report notes. Despite an impressive reduction in income poverty in recent decades, the region remains home to two-thirds of the world's poor, and more than 60% of its hungry people.
In addition to the 'unfinished agenda' from the MDGs, the region must address new emerging challenges like rising inequalities, unplanned urbanization, climate change, pollution, and water scarcity. Ultimately, for any new agenda to be sustainable, it will need to be underpinned by the principles of inclusive growth, social equity, and environmental responsibility, which will require improvements in health and education, generating quality jobs, and increasing social protection for the poor, the report says.
The report notes that while a post-2015 framework should detail shared global goals, it should also give individual regions or countries flexibility over how best to achieve them, with responsibilities for global public goods based on capacities. Reaching future targets will also require a broadening of financial resources, with state-backed official development assistance expected to decline, and much closer cooperation and partnerships amongst national, regional and international institutions. Equally important will be support to bridge serious data deficits to strengthen coherence between national and international efforts.