UN Report on Post-2015 Development Agenda: Time to “Finish the Job”

 “We must invest in the unfinished work of the Millennium Development Goals, and use them as a springboard into the future we want, a future free from poverty and built on human rights, equality and sustainability. This is our duty, and it must be the legacy we strive to leave for our children.” – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

In December 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented an advance version of his “Road to Dignity by 2030” synthesis report, which will guide negotiations for the post-2015 development agenda. The report, which Ban presented in an informal briefing to the UN General Assembly, “aims to support (Member) States’ discussions going forward, taking stock of the negotiations on the post-2015 agenda and reviewing lessons from pursuit of the MDGs,” a UN press release states. “It stresses the need to ‘finish the job’ – both to help people now and as a launch pad for the new agenda.”

Although the world has achieved “extraordinary progress” in the last two decades, Ban says in the report, it is also marked by “unacceptable – and unsustainable – levels of want, fear, discrimination, exploitation, injustice and environmental folly at all levels.”

Among the accomplishments, since 1990, the world has cut extreme poverty in half, averted approximately 3.3 million deaths from malaria, saved 22 million lives from tuberculosis and saved the lives of 6.6 million HIV-infected people through access to antiretroviral therapy. Likewise, gender equality has improved in primary school enrollment, access to child and maternal healthcare, and women’s political participation.

However, “amid great plenty for some, we witness pervasive poverty, gross inequalities, joblessness, disease and deprivation for billions,” Ban continues. “Displacement is at its highest level since the Second World War. Armed conflict, crime, terrorism, persecution, corruption, impunity and the erosion of the rule of law are daily realities.” Furthermore, the world is still recovering from the impact of global economic, food and energy crises, and “the consequences of climate change have only just begun.”

“We have the know-how and the means to address these challenges, but we need urgent leadership and joint action now,” Ban states.

The report stresses that, in addition to continuing to march toward the Millennium Development Goals, the international community must fill important sustainable development gaps left by these, “such as the multidimensional aspects of poverty, decent work for young people, social protection and labour rights for all.”

In the coming months, Member States and the United Nations will come to an agreement on the final parameters of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, which should include concrete goals along with achievable, measurable targets. Collaboration from actors in the public and private sectors is key to finishing the job. It is expected that the final agenda will encourage new, innovative partnerships across all sectors.

Stay tuned to TRF’s blog for updates on this process and what it means for Latin America and the Caribbean. In the meantime, you can access the full report here: “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet.”


By Lisa Schohl, TRF Strategic Communications Manager