The UN's poverty-fighting programme lacks teeth

Over the past decade, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have served as an international benchmark for measuring progress in fighting extreme poverty.

Despite the commitments made by governments, many countries are still not on track to achieve their MDG targets by 2015. Shortcomings are due to a range of factors. The MDG framework largely ignores ongoing discrimination and social exclusion. Equally important, the MDGs do not place on states obligations to develop national action plans, to be held accountable for achieving results, or to consult with people on priorities.

These shortcomings have contributed to the uneven results we’ve seen over the past 10 years and must be addressed as we look to the future.

In the past few years there has been an encouraging and important shift in the approach to fighting extreme poverty, which puts the human rights of the poor at the centre of the debate. Governments, the UN and civil society are now trying to find ways to accelerate the rate of progress.

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