The United Nations establishes new goals to abolish poverty

Fifteen years after the Millennium Development Goals were set in place, the UN’s new targets are ambitious. They will need the mobilization of private finance and people all over the world holding their governments to account.

The World Today Updated 14 December 2020 Published 31 July 2015 3 minute READ

Mark Suzman

CEO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

At the turn of the millennium, the world embraced an unprecedented shared commitment to improve the lives of the world’s poorest – by dramatically reducing hunger, maternal and child mortality, and extreme poverty. At the United Nations, all 189 member countries signed on to the Millennium Development Goals, which provided not only a vision of a better world but also a 15-year roadmap with specific targets and timelines.

I worked at the UN at the time and recall the scepticism that greeted this bold agenda. The sceptics have largely been proved wrong, however. As a leader of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s policy and advocacy team since 2007, I have witnessed how successful such targeted efforts can be and how shared commitments can galvanize international resolve.

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