25 July 2012


The Millennium Development Goals have guided governments, private industry and civil society for over a decade, they have given purpose and a benchmark with which to assess progress. It is clear the way forward is to again summon the collective will witnessed in the 2000 Millennium Declaration and continue to boldly pave the way beyond 2015. 

A main outcome of the recently concluded Rio +20 conference was a plan to set Sustainable Development goals (SDGs), however negotiators at Rio were unable to agree on themes, which will now be left to an "open working group" of 30 nations to decide upon by September 2013. Two years later, they will be blended with Millennium Development Goals.

The final outcome document from the conference included a statement which at least acknowledged the reality and serious threat posed by climate change:-

“We acknowledge that climate change is a cross-cutting and persistent crisis and express our concern that the scale and gravity of the negative impacts of climate change affect all countries and undermine the ability of all countries, in particular, developing countries, to achieve sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals and threaten the viability and survival of nations. Therefore we underscore that combating climate change requires urgent and ambitious action, in accordance with the principles and provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

It remains to be seen if those words will be backed up by action.

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