The UN-hosted Millennium Summit (2000) called upon the world to end extreme poverty in all forms. The summit ended with the ratification of the Millennium Development Goals, which provided tangible development objectives to be achieved in developing countries by 2015. The Millennium Development Goals marked a turning point in the fight against poverty, as they were the first concerted international effort to promote an integrated view of development that included drivers of poverty such as poor health, gender inequality, hunger, and environmental degradation in addition to purely economic metrics. Fourteen years later, much progress has been made.
Despite progress, many countries will not meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and over one billion people remain deeply impoverished. In addition, despite growing attention, inequality and environmental degradation have worsened. These issues threaten future sustainable development and compromise the livelihoods of billions of people. As a result, it is vital that sustainable development is achieved in a way that also addresses these emerging problems.
With 2015 rapidly approaching, the world’s attention is shifting to the post-2015 development agenda. The post-2015 agenda will re-focus attention on the priorities named in the Millennium Development Goals and will expand the agenda to include new issues. It will dictate the path that sustainable development practice will take in the future. To ensure the success of the post-2015 agenda, it is vital that development practitioners collaborate and share their experiences over the last 14 years.
In order to facilitative this collaboration, the Global MDP Association and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network are hosting the 2nd Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice at Columbia University in New York City. This conference, convening September 17 and 18, 2014, will provide a forum in which development practitioners from around the world can share solutions to emerging development problems at local, regional, and global levels. Hundreds of development practitioners from academia, NGOs, government, and the private sector will share cutting-edge research on a diverse range of development issues pertaining to the post-2015 agenda.
The International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice is designed to empower non-government actors by providing a forum to discuss the future of development. Any outcomes and recommendations will be conveyed by the SDSN to the UN, making the process more inclusive and transparent.
In order for the conference and the post-2015 Agenda to be successful, participation by the public is necessary. We ask you to join us at the International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice to discuss development practice and to witness the post-2015 Agenda in the making.
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By Bryan Lee, Candidate for the Master’s in Development Practice. Cross-posted on the State of the Planet blog.