If we all band together we can tackle poverty

If we all band together we can tackle poverty

It was 10 years ago this month that members of the United Nations came to an agreement over a set of international development goals for the new millennium. The eight Millennium Development Goals were agreed upon by more than 180 countries and more than 20 international organisations.

Five years to the deadline of 2015, progress has been slow and with every year passing, it is looking less likely that every goal will be met. For example, extreme poverty has slightly lessened, but the number of hungry people globally has risen in the past year, from 842 million to 1.02 billion.

There has been unquestionable progress. There just has not been enough and as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at the United Nations MDG Review Summit in New York, "the clock is ticking".

Why progress has been slow may be partly attributed with the recent global economic downturn as governments around the world put their nation first and find their footing again.

The belief that developed countries do not have the money or resources to see these goals completed though is false, as is the belief that the will of the people is at fault. A campaign with its roots based in soccer known as "1 Goal" was able to attain the support of moe than 18 million people comprising pro athletes, politicians, celebrities and, most importantly, the global public. Supporters of 1Goal were united in one aim, that the governments of the world meet their promises on their Millennium Development Goals for education.

If the G8 and other developed countries worked together, much of the Millennium Development Goals would be feasible and there is the support of people all over the world to see them completed. Now, it is down to the political will of global powers to see them met.

Some of this will is starting to bleed through now though, with commitments from governments, businesses and NGOs around the world reaching the US$40 billion mark. So long as it is physically feasible, and so long as the will of the people and political powers exists, if promises made at the Development Summit are kept then the benefits are endless for the people suffering from poverty.

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