UN Millennium Development Goals Essay


Critically evaluate the achievements of the UN Millennium Development Goals.


The current study sheds light on the global poverty and inequality policies by critically evaluating the achievements of the pre determined UN Development Goals during the period 2000 to 2015. In addition to this, the present study also analytically presents the prospects of the new sustainable development aims for the period 2015 to 2030 set for the purpose of reduction of poverty as well as inequality within and among different nations. The present study also elucidates in detail the vision of the United Nations to eradicate poverty in diverse dimensions that were primarily presented into eight Millennium Development Goals and the way the extraordinary efforts have resulted into reflective accomplishments. However, there still remains uneven success as well as gaps in different areas that need to be corrected in the new development period.

As rightly put forward by Acemoglu and Robinson (2012), in order to effective evaluate the goals and the potential solutions it is important to analyse the definition of the poverty put forward by different schools of thought. Therefore, it is important to delve deep into different economic theories as regards the causes as well as the responses to the poverty. Demos (2016) opine that different definitions of poverty adopted over a period have essentially reflected the transformation in thinking on different pecuniary aspects to even wider issues that include the political involvement as well as social exclusion. The classical theorists put forward the view that individuals are particularly accountable for the poverty and thereby provide a base for different laissez faire course of actions (Asian development outlook 2012 update 2012). On the other hand, the neo-classical theorists provide illustrations for potential market failures that are beyond the control of individuals as the possible economic causes of poverty. Therefore, both these schools of thought overemphasize the monetary aspects, present a restricted role of the government, and have an inclination to be averse to different strategies of redistribution (Dasgupta 2010). However, on the other hand, the Keynesian economics concentrates on different macroeconomic forces and at the same time stresses on the role of the government for the eradication of poverty and inequality by offering economic stabilization in addition to public goods. Furthermore, it can be ascertained that the Keynesian theories considers the poverty to a large extent to be involuntary and unemployment to be a primary reason for the same (Espejo 2012). Again, the Marxian views present the role of different class inequity that is predominantly political concerns as the central economic cause of poverty. The Marxian Theories emphasizes the role of the state and its intervention for the regulation of the market and the poverty eradication proposals predominantly encompasses minimum wages as well as ant discriminatory laws. Merino (2012) critically argues that the social exclusion as well as social capital notions offers a significant contribution in understanding different precursors of inequality as well as poverty. Therefore, the notions of the social exclusion as well as social capital theories identify the function of social in addition to the economic policies in elucidating poverty. Therefore, selective synthesis of different approaches can help in understanding the relevance of different economic explanations for poverty reduction and consequently calls the need for an assimilated approach that draws significant elements from different economic theories (Merino 2012). This essentially implies evaluation of the economic causes as well as responses to global poverty and inequality from the perspectives of provisions of capital to help the deprived, anti-discriminatory laws; social development as well as strategies to offset different adverse incentives in addition to market failure that essentially underlies poverty.

The concerted efforts for the world leaders for the eradication of the poverty can be analyzed using the eight UN development goals set for the past 15 years and the level of achievement in the identified areas (Rodrik and Rosenzweig 2010). The first objective was elimination of extreme poverty as well as hunger. The data released by the UN millennium goals reflect that the extreme poverty has reduced considerably in the developing nation during the period 1990 to 2015 and percentage declined to 14% from 47%. The efforts of poverty reduction has helped in reducing the number of poor people sustaining extreme levels of poverty from 1.9 billion during 1990 to around 836 million in the year 2015 worldwide (Rodrik and Rosenzweig 2010). Again, the percentage of undernourished individuals living in the developing areas have significantly declined to 12.9% as recorded during 2014 to 2016 from 23.3% registered during the period 1990- 1992. These figures reveal the fact that the unprecedented efforts have largely translated into positive results. However, as argued by Roosa (2010), there still remains millions of people around 800 million that persist in extreme poverty as well as hunger and more than 160 million children suffer from malnutrition throughout the world. In addition to this, more than 57 million children in the world have not registered in the school currently (Sustainabledevelopment.un.org 2016).

The World Trade organization (WTO) plays a key role in combating poverty. WTO has established different schemes that include the openness of the trade that can foster growth of nations. This in turn can affect the overall development projects of the nations that can support the pro poor projects. The WTO has been successful to a certain extent as the architects adjusted international economic assimilation as per the needs as well as demands of different economic administration in addition to democratic strategies. Therefore, the schemes of WTO can preserve certain restraints on different limitations at the time of crafting improved global regulations for the purpose of management of assimilation. For instance, the WTO introduced the scheme of negotiated format of visa that permits increased admittance to the developed countries f different skilled, unskilled as well as semi-skilled labor force. This scheme can thereby ensure cross border flow of labor and at the same generate economic gains. The targets for development of the economy can be supported by developmental as well as effective trade policies that can enhance growth and development and the overall well being of nations. Therefore, the overall well-being can therefore help in combating the poverty and establishing equality across nations (Wto.org, 2016).

The second UN development goal centers on the achievement of the universal primary education for the eradication of poverty by ensuring overall development (Roosa 2010). However, the data on this attainment of primary education reflects that the rate of enrolment to primary school education has increased to 91% during 2015 from 83% recorded during the year 2000 in the developing nations of the world. However, the Sub-African registered the best rate of enrolment with 20% increase in the figure during the period 2000 to 2015. The figure for the out of school children throughout the world has also reduced to 57 million from the 100 million recorded during the year 2000 implying effectiveness of the policies that have positively translated into an overall economic development strategy aimed at eradication of the underlying causes of poverty (Sustainabledevelopment.un.org 2016).

The promotion of the equality among genders and empowerment of the women are also set as an important strategy directed for elimination of poverty and social inequality (Samuelson and Nordhaus 2010). The statistics noted during the period 2000 to 2015 helps in comparative analysis of the economic development in this identified area. The data therefore reveals that the percentage of primary school enrolment ratio of boys and girls in the Southern Asia have considerably increased from 100:73 (boy: girl) in 1990 to 100: 103 in 2015 (Acemoglu and Robinson 2012). Again, considerable success can be noticed in the field of women empowerment and the proportion of women employed in the vulnerable situation have decreased 13% between the period 1991 to 2015 and more than 41% of the women work in sectors other than the agricultural sectors. Dasgupta (2010) critically argues that despite this positive figures the gender inequality still persists in aspects of getting admittance to jobs, diverse economic assets as well as right to participate in both private as well as public decision making process and women earnings are 24% less than the men globally. According to the UN development reports for the millennium, it can be ascertained that the goal of reduction of the child mortality rate has been achieved as the number of child mortality rate has reduced from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6 million. However, there still remain gaps as more than 16000 children die every day mostly from different preventable reasons (UNDP 2016).

In addition to this, the statistics on the improvement of the maternal health shows that the worldwide ratio of maternal mortality that is death record for every 100000 live delivery have reduced from 380 in 1990 to 330 in 2000 to 210 in 2013. In addition to this, records reveal that approximately 71% of the births are attended by health and medical professional that in turn indicates the success in attainment of the goal. However, Acemoglu and Robinson (2012) disagree and put forward differential view that despite the progress in the improvement in the maternal healthy. There still remain wide gap between the developed and the developing nations supported by the data that the maternal mortality is 14% more in the developing areas (Espejo 2012). Furthermore, the UN developments reports also reveal the fact that considerable amount of success have also been achieved in the area of preventing the HIV infections and the therapy treatment as the new affliction of the disease have declined by 40% during the period 2000 to 2013. However, there still remains wide gap in this section as only 36% out of the 31 million HIV inflicted individuals receive proper medical attention in the developing regions of the world (Espejo 2012). Thereafter, the objective of the world leaders to make environmental sustainability certain have applied measures for reduction of ozone depletion and have successfully reduced 98% of ozone depletion materials in the last 15 years. Worldwide, more than 147 nations have achieved the target of accessing pure drinking water and 2.1 billion individuals have the facility to enhanced sanitation (Demos 2016). Despite these positive figures, there lies evidence of climatic alterations and environmental damages that truly undermine the achievements of the last 15 years. This is because the carbon dioxide emissions have profoundly escalated 50% with loss of 5.2 hectares of total forest area since the period 1990.

As is evident from the statistical figures presented in the UN development report, the world leaders have to a large extent achieved the goals of development. However, there still remain wide gaps between the target and the accomplishments. Therefore, a new set of the objectives can be adopted for the purpose of eradication of poverty prevalent in different forms by the year 2030. Although more than 1 billion people have been lifted from the condition of extreme poverty presently identified as people sustaining with less than $1.25 per day needs to be eradicated by 2030 (Asian development outlook 2012 update 2012). The current rate of elimination therefore supports the prospect of the target. The target is also to lessen different gender proportions living in poverty by around half the number. The objective is also to implement different social protection systems by 2030 that can ensure all around development and not only development from economic and monetary perspectives for eradication of poverty (Demos 2016). This can eliminate the myth of GDP development translating into the development of the living conditions of the poor in several poor nations. Therefore, the target for the next 15 years also include building resilience of the downtrodden section of the society, ensure mobilization of resources and creation of healthy framework of policies at different national, international as well as regional stages (Sustainabledevelopment.un.org 2016).

The study therefore helps in understanding that these targets can thereby ensures that enhancement of the policies that support the pro-poor growth can facilitate the process of elimination of poverty and consequently bridge the gap between the rich as well as the poor by the plan of action directed for development in the next 15 years. This viability of the achievements of the targets however depends on the procedure of intergovernmental negotiating deals, maintaining the integration of the targets of worldwide development while considering the regional realities as well as capacities.


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