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Call for UN to change approach to goal setting

Monday 2 February 2015 | Published in Regional


PALMERSTON NORTH – A regional expert says the Pacific’s mixed results in achieving the United Nation’s Millenium Development Goals or MDGs points to a flaw in the one size fits all approach.

This is the final year for countries to meet their MDGs and the Cook Islands and Niue are the only Pacific island countries on track to achieve all of the goals.

The UN has already adopted a Post 2015 plan which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals that aim to achieve what the MDGs did not by 2030.

But Massey University’s Associate Professer, Glenn Banks, says making more goals does not necessarily mean more targets will be met.

He points to Papua New Guinea’s case which will not achieve a single development goal this year.

“I think what that shows is that treating MDGs as a regional set of objectives is unrealistic.

“You need to start looking at the nuance of particular countries and particular contexts and see what’s achievable within those countries rather than talk about these grandiose terms for meeting regional targets.”

The eight MDGs range from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS.