World We Want Post-2015 campaign takes off in Zambia | Kanni Wignaraja

05 Feb 2013

ZAMBIA A woman in Zambia harvests her crops. Photo: Patson Mwasila/UNDP

It takes foresight to look into the future and imagine the way you want it to be. And then, it takes persistence and courage to influence it to be so.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are not imaginary – they are tangible, and many countries are on the way to achieving them. But more than 1 billion people still live in poverty. Growing inequality and injustice, or the effects of climate change and terror activity may not have been what the MDGs were designed to address. But our world is one where the lines are blurring between development and humanitarianism, between short- and long-term impact, between planning for development and for emergencies. Our imagination has to stretch.

This time around, while we look to accelerate progress toward the MDGs, two elements could drive and shape this future vision: first, a people’s sense of equity, and second, a people’s sense of engagement in making their own choices.

Let us look at some numbers and the stories they tell:

- Zambia has reduced the rate of extreme poverty from 58 percent in 1991 to 43 percent in 2010. However, extreme poverty continues to be higher in rural areas (57 per cent) than urban areas (13 percent).
- The universal primary education target has been met with a 94 percent school enrollment rate, but challenges persist with low completion rates in secondary school.
- The national HIV rate has come down below the MDG target, but the rate of new infections is growing.
- And while the economic growth rate at over 6 percent for the past decade has been admirable, Zambia’s human development indicators remain static and the country ranks of 164 out of 187 countries.

These numbers seem to describe different worlds. So, this time around, let us imagine Zambia as one country, one people – all prosperous and safe.

The process has begun. Zambia is one of more than 50 countries where the UN is leading national dialogues on the global development vision beyond 2015. The stories and aspirations of young Zambians will create a vision of the World We Want, which will influence the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development.

Talk to us: We need everyone’s ideas for global development after the era of MDGs, and everyone’s input to bring about the world we want.


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