MDG Summit: what does it all mean?

24 Sep 2010 by admin, 8 Comments »

By Joseph Donnelly, New York

What happened at UN headquarters this week? What difference did all the planning, processing do to accelerate MDG implementations? What will the effects be on two billion poor people’s lives in cities and villages around the world?

The next most important question, the one most frequently asked remains. Will more money be pledged and delivered to achieve the MDGs in the next 5 years? Basically the answer is no, not really, not much, not right now, not exactly.

Summit came, went, but didn’t come up with more financial resources to save more lives. Summit came, went quite seriously into substantive debate about extreme poverty. But summit leaders of the world were not prepared to make more money commitments now.

There were significant updated statements made for more effective human development. There were significant declarations offered to work more deliberately for global partnerships. There were significant gaps matching urgent crises with scandalous limited resources.

What will happen now? When will the means to alleviate human suffering as pledged in 2000 be realised?
Where will the political will move radically forward to prevent further destruction of life?

Hard transparent questions daily demand honest answers. Hard times in the last years added to the struggle, but the means remain available for most countries. Hard to imagine that what must happen will not happen well if so many doors are shut.

Here’s the deal: developing countries require substantial support from developed countries. Here’s the deal: developing countries need to take careful credible responsibility on their side too. Here’s the deal: development effectiveness demands new paradigms to end dependency models.

What did happen at the summit is that there’s clarity in the confrontation with the facts. Statistics have been cut open to intensely clarify more precisely who the poor are and live today. Noted that not all poor people live in poor countries, poverty needs to be met not read.

Optimism, pessimism, scepticism has criss-crossed clashed with realism this week. Beyond rhetoric and diplomatic duties many Member States seem ripened to act better. More than meeting MDG taglines world leaders must put more money in the people’s bank.

We wonder why it is so difficult to see and act on the simple equation: save lives. We wonder why when we have global means to make life-saving differences, we wait. We wonder why poor and vulnerable people often in squalor and conflict are left behind.

Be sure there were benefits from bringing world leaders together this week, seen not heard. Be sure absolutely that some smart recommendations got on the table, will translate action. Be sure NGOs, civil society, private sector added dramatic reality checks for changes needed.

It was intense, exceptionally expensive, intersection with peoples of the world for one week. MDG languages of last decade came from previous decades of charity, aid relief, recovery. No more promises are needed to deliver sustainable development. Simply do it.

Summit days introduced Caritas delegation to princes, presidents, experts, advisers. Summit meetings inserted Caritas into polite confrontations between talk and reality, past and present. Summit movements, being on site at UN, gave Caritas options for the poor here and now.

We came, we saw, we actually conquered some of the long deafening silence about poverty. We added the vast Caritas witness to the ways we walk with sisters and brothers. We were invited again: hold active place at aid effectiveness leadership for 2011-2015 and beyond.

We are Caritas: committed, invested, engaged with urgency to achieve Zero Poverty. The Caritas Voices Against Poverty campaign confirms our commitment to walk with the poor.


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