The world’s to-do list and the risk of “the greatest collective failure in history”

Ted Turner describes the Millennium Development Goals as the world’s to-do list. Watch this video and you’ll see why:

Oxfam’s Joel Bassuk writes:

In less than a week world leaders will meet in New York to review progress on the Millennium Development Goals, including the goal to halve world hunger by 2015 (MDG1). Governments are no closer to achieving this goal today then they were ten years ago. But the genuinely good news is that it is still possible to halve hunger in the next 5 years.

Oxfam’s new report, ‘Halving World Hunger: Still Possible,’ points to countries such as Vietnam and Brazil as evidence of what is possible. By supporting poor food producers and providing social safety nets for people who cannot produce or buy enough food, Vietnam and Brazil have dramatically cut hunger at home. For instance, Brazil has reduced malnutrition by 73 percent in the last six years.

If more governments – north and south – work together to deliver the right policies and the necessary investment the success stories of Brazil and Vietnam can be replicated across the globe.

World leaders meeting at the MDG Summit in New York must show they haven’t given up on the Millennium Development Goals. They must put their weight behind a global action plan that will bring all countries together to tackle hunger.

The intro to the Oxfam report states:

Unless an urgent rescue package is developed to accelerate fulfillment of all the MDGs, we are likely to witness the greatest collective failure in history.

In most discussions of right and wrong, sins of commission tend to get more attention than sins of omission, but not doing something that could save lives is still ethically reprehensible. If we can spare millions of children the ravages of hunger, poverty and disease and we don’t, then it is indeed an epic collective failure.

Hard to envision a more noble set of objectives than the Millennium Development Goals

Imagine a world where we achieve these goals:

  • Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
  • Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
  • Goal 5: Improve maternal health
  • Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development