Five years ago, at the start of the new millennium, the world’s governments united to make remarkable promise to the victims of global poverty. Meeting at the United Nations, they signed the Millennium Declaration—a solemn pledge “to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty”. The declaration provides a bold vision rooted in a shared commitment to universal human rights and social justice and backed by clear time-bound targets. These targets—the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—include halving extreme poverty, cutting child deaths, providing all of the world’s children with education, rolling back infectious disease and forging a new global partnership to deliver results. The deadline for delivery is 2015.
2005 has been marked by an unprecedented global campaign dedicated to relegating poverty to the past. That campaign has already left its imprint in the form of progress on aid and debt relief. But what’s the missing link in the MDG strategy? The overall report card on progress makes for depressing reading. Most countries are off track for most of the MDGs. In this issue of The African Executive, various authors examine the MDGs from various perspectives such as private initiatives, religion, rule of law, regulatory frameworks and many others. As readers will realize, there is more to MDGs than meets the eye.