WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
WEF Blog: Goals for getting to zero on extreme poverty
- Published: 28 May 2012 at 11.56
- Online news:
Societies around the globe are confronting a daily sense of fragility as economic, environmental, and social forces combine to produce surprise after surprise after surprise. There is a common fear that, even in cases of rapid advance, the gains might prove illusory or unsustainable.
But the upside of uncertainty is that good news often comes where it’s least expected. Many feel this way when they read the most recent World Bank estimates showing dramatic global declines in extreme poverty, measured by those living under $1.25/day. East Asia has led the way with the fastest progress by far, but every region has seen its figures drop since 2005. It’s conceivable that the numbers could approach zero everywhere by 2030.
These issues will be at the policy forefront next month when the UN’s “Rio+20” summit convenes to discuss global sustainability. To be sure, Asian voices will be ever more pivotal in steering the world’s course. At the top of the agenda stands a proposal for new “Sustainable Development Goals,” or SDGs. These would build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which have become the central reference point for global anti-poverty efforts since they were established in 2000. No less a light than Bill Gates has called the MDGs “the best idea for focusing the world on fighting global poverty that [he has] ever seen.”
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