Last week was the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) summit. Back in 2000, the international community agreed to end hunger, send more kids to school, keep mothers and their babies healthy, and stop HIV/AIDS from becoming a death sentence – all by 2015. We now know that, at the due date, most countries will have failed to meet most of these goals. But those who focus on our failure to reach the targeted numbers are missing the point.
Many complain that the MDGs are just one-size-fits-all goals that do not even tell us how to achieve them. But that is precisely what is significant about them. The very fact that 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations succeeded in agreeing on a set of goals to make the world a better place for the most vulnerable is a historic achievement in its own right.