The percentage of people living in extreme poverty around the world has fallen by more than half over the past three decades. But polls show that most people are not only ignorant of this fact, but believe that poverty has increased. This column explores progress towards ending global poverty by 2030, the first of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Poverty figures have fallen around the world since 1990, and there is a broad consensus on the policies needed for further reductions. Eradicating global poverty is achievable, but it is dependent on global and domestic political cooperation.
José Cuesta, Mario Negre, Christoph Lakner, 07 November 2016
Eric Hanushek, Ludger Woessmann, 24 May 2015
Later this year, the UN will set the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. This column argues that having lots of targets will make it hard for policymakers to enact real change. Instead, the primary post-2015 goals should focus on young people achieving basic skills. Basic skills, in turn, will help address issues of poverty and limited healthcare as well as help foster the new technologies needed to improve sustainable growth.
Richard Tol, 27 November 2012
The 18th UN Conference on climate change negotiations has just started in Doha. This column suggests that the probability of success is a mere 2.3%. Recently, over $100 million per year was spent on fruitless negotiations. Having flogged, ever harder for 18 years, the dead horse of legally binding emission targets, the UN should close that chapter and try something new.
Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 04 October 2010
As highlighted by the Millennium Development Goals, measuring development is crucial. This column presents a new human development index challenging the UN measure. It shows that the global average level of human development is “low” and that even by 2007 the level of human development outside of the OECD was similar to that of the richest countries in 1938.
John Williamson, 24 March 2009
This column says that institutional reform is unique in that it could simultaneously address the short-run agenda of combating the collapse of aggregate demand and the long-run agenda of building a global economy fit for the 21st century. IMF reform has to be at the forefront of such an initiative.