In class, we all seemed to unanimously agree that there were at least a few issues with the Millennium Development Goals. In the article we read for class “ICTs and MDGs: on the wrong track?” Richard Heeks made it clear that he strongly felt the same. He specifically stated that these goals, which emerged as a response to the failures of the neoliberal agenda, have once again resorted to the same neoliberal mindset. Just as before, the developed countries, in the past known as “the global North” (but present day, does not hold true), are trying to impose their agenda and priorities on the developing countries.
With the advent of the target year 2015 and many of the MDGs a far cry from being met, the goals are receiving a much-needed makeover. What’s interesting about the changes being implemented is that the UN is utilizing social media and other means to include the voice of the populations the MDGs were set out to help in order to formulate new goals that are more practical and address their actual needs.
According to an article published by the UN Dispatch (http://goo.gl/ci9Ug), following the Rio +20 conference, UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon appointed the prime minister of England and the presidents of Liberia and Indonesia to co-chair a High Level Panel to spearhead the post MDG development agenda, likely to be known as the SDGs or Sustainable Development Goals. The panel surveyed 61 countries, asking them “list five to ten areas the SDGs should address,” and how could they specifically be applied to their countries.
The UN has also used the ever-expanding online communication outlets to increase the civil society input. It has created the website www.theworldwewant.org to receive public feedback and is promoting active discussion on Twitter through the hashtag #SDGs.
It seems like the UN is headed in the right direction, but will they get it right this time? Only time will tell. Either way, some (including me) still have their reservations. Is it reasonable to have a global agenda? Will the Secretary General’s proposal to the General Assembly truly take into consideration the High Level Panel’s input? Furthermore, will the High Level Panel via social media actually take into account all the needs presented by the people? Let me know what you all think!