In September 2000, world leaders came together at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to adopt the Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets—with a deadline of 2015—that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). WESS 2014/2015 will look into the intellectual and institutional background of the MDGs and will recall the context, underpinning assumptions and expectations associated with the creation of the MDGs and the major challenges faced in implementing them.
MDG-enabling policies are those that are broad and macro in nature, affecting many or all sectors, and do not pertain to specific Goals but provide an overall enabling environment. WESS 2014/2015 will focus on these MDG-enabling policies which affect the overall economy and hence had influence on multiple MDGs.
MDG-specific policies are geared towards individual Goals and focus on identifiable sectors. WESS 2014/2015 will consider the experiences with regard to the adoption and incorporation of the MDGs in national development strategies and will examine the importance of policy coherence and adequate financing to support these policies.
The MDG experience points to the certainty of bringing environment and development together. WESS 2014/2015 will focus on the experience of both developed and developing countries in complementing human and economic development with sustainable development. The report will also investigate the environmental sustainability components of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and show how the lessons from the MDG years can be useful in realizing the new SDGs.
There is broad consensus that national ownership of initiatives, policies, and strategies, supported coherently by partners at all levels (global, regional, national and subnational), has been crucial in making progress towards achieving the MDGs. WESS 2014/2015 will draw lessons from specific country examples to show that strong institutions and good governance at the country level are among the important long-term enablers for achieving the MDGs. It will also present cases of development strategies that, through specific actions, have tackled such issues as of gaps in monitoring and evaluation. Other challenges, such as corruption and lack of accountability, will also be discussed.
The MDG years offered an abundance of successful global partnerships for development. WESS 2014/2015 will analyse these partnerships and derive lessons for post-2015, as the new global sustainable development agenda transitions from a traditional donor-recipient framework to one based on solidarity.