Goals for our times: a world safe for liberal market democracies presupposes a world safer for the poor

A little over five years ago, the world leaders who had assembled at the UN for a Millennium Summit agreed on a Millennium Declaration that was truly an expression of a global social democratic consensus. It covered a lot of ground. Beginning with a statement of shared values, it formulated a set of goals covering a spectrum of issues. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a part of this commitment. They set down eight broad objectives, the most important of which is the first one of halving absolute poverty by 2015. The other goals relate to universalising primary education, reducing infant/maternal mortality, combating AIDS, malaria and other diseases, promoting gender equality and environmental sustainability. To enable all this, there is a crucial eighth goal that seeks changes in trade, aid and debt policies to improve the ability of poor countries to reach these goals. Full Text