What kind of world should we live in? This month in New York, governments from across the world will begin negotiations on targets that will shape global development over the coming 15 years. They do so at a critical time.
The new UN development framework will lay out a common approach and, with hope, improve on the success achieved by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in focusing attention of governments, aid donors, and funders on the reduction of extreme poverty. We have already seen extensive debate from governments and citizens alike over what these new goals should include, a debate that was summarized in a report in December from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
I am particularly delighted that the secretary-general identified justice as one of the essential components of a strong new development agenda. The prominence of justice is a significant and welcome shift from the MDGs, which mostly omitted human rights and the rule of law.
At my Open Society Foundations, we’ve been pushing for the idea that access to justice for everyone is essential. It ensures that people have the ability to participate fully in the social, economic, political, and cultural lives of their countries.
Development needs to include everyone, especially the most vulnerable.
For more than three decades, my Open Society Foundations have supported groups working to create the kind of world we want to see. Let’s make sure this work is supported and affirmed by an agenda that places justice and human rights at its core.