opinionBy Joey T. Kennedy
Our country, Liberia is currently hosting a United Nations High Level Panel Post 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) meeting. The 26-member panel was set up by United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, in May 2012 to advise him on the Global Development agenda after 2015 (At the expiration of the current Millennium Development Goals).
High level Panel Must Formulate Clearly Defined and Achievable New Global Development Goals
The panel is co-chaired by Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Indonesian President SusiloBambangYudhoyono. Academics, diplomats and civil society leaders from all regions of the world are also here participating in the meeting.
The objective of the meeting being held under the general theme:"National Building Blocks for Sustained Prosperity" is to discuss, debate and refine a narrative document which will set out a vision for the future of development within the context of identifying the key challenges facing economic growth and transformation and the national level building blocks required to achieve sustained prosperity at the expiry of the current MDGs in 2015.
The decision of the panel to hold such high level meeting in Liberia is quite laudable. This is because Liberia, like most developing countries around the world, is still grappling with its transformation goals of providing safe drinking water, electricity, employment opportunities, roads, improved health facilities, qualitative education and other elements that are essential for making the country a place of social comfort for all of its citizens after more than a decade of civil strife.
Besides, the meeting comes at a time when Liberia has just concluded and is well in the process of implementing its National Development Agenda dubbed "National Vision 2030," a framework whose goal is to make the country a middle income earner in the next seventeen years.
As such high level global development meeting is being held in our country to formulate an agenda that would transform the lives and livelihoods of the more than Seven Billion People of the world, especially developing countries, including Liberia, it is expected that panelists would take up time and visit communities in Liberia and if possible Indonesia, where the next meeting is expected to be held, in order to assess for themselves the problems facing the population of these countries, which, in effect, are perfect representations of many other developing countries around the world for whom the new development agenda is principally being formulated.
Such assessment would help the process of effectively informing the formulation process of the new global development agenda. It is my expectation, and I am quite sure that it is also the expectation of other individuals, that in contrast to the current MDGs, the post 2015 MDGs when formulated would contain clearly defined and achievable objectives and that commitments would be made by national governments, bi-lateral and multi-lateral institutions, towards the equitable and efficient funding of programs that would result to the achievement of the goals within the specified time period.
Joey T. Kennedy,