Millennium Development Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for ongoing development


Millennium Development GoalsBy Stephanie Jackson-Ali, LMSW

In a recent post, Foundation Beyond Belief notified members that we would be incorporating the Millennium Development Goals into our charity vetting process. In order to better help our members to get acquainted with these goals, we are rolling out a monthly explanation of the goals, the progress made thus far toward their achievement, and what we, as a global community, have left to achieve in the remaining three years of the plan. Read more about the background of the MDGs here. Unless otherwise noted, all information below comes directly from the United Nations.

Goal 8, the final Millennium Development Goal, is also the longest and most complex. This goal requires countries to work together to develop a global partnership for development. This goal encompasses:

8.A: Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system
8.B: Address the special needs of least developed countries
8.C: Address the special needs of landlocked developing countries and small island developing states
8.D: Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries
8.E: In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries
8.F: In cooperation with the private sector, make available benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications

At the beginning of the Millennium Development Goal cycle, developed countries committed to giving 0.7 percent of gross national income to what was deemed Official Development Assistance, or $300.3 billion, to less developed countries. As of 2012, only $133.5 billion had been given in aid.1 Aid has also decreased to land-locked countries since 2010 and to sub-Saharan Africa since 2011.

Advances in open, equitable trade are also slow to develop. The Doha Round trade talks, which began in 2001, were meant to target this goal, but have so far not completed their discussions. Many tariffs still remain on developing countries that hinder their growth, and protectionist trade measures implemented after the global economic crisis have largely not been eliminated, which disproportionately affect developing nations.

More success has come in the process of debt forgiveness, as 36 of 40 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) are receiving debt relief, reducing their debt burden by 90 percent. Thirty-two of those 36 countries have reached what is called “completion point” and are receiving additional relief through the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative.

There is still much work to be done in expanding access to medicines and technology. While the number of Internet users and cellular subscribers has increased, there is still a large gap in technology users between developing nations and developed nations.

Much work is left to be done in the few years remaining for Goal 8. This work requires the cooperation of all nations around the world, especially leading nations such as those in the G20. Moving beyond the MDGs, future advancement will also require countries such as the United States to become leaders in establishing healthy aid and trade policies that advance success for all nations—or risk seeing the development gap recede further.

If you’d like to learn more about global partnership, we suggest the following reads. Globalization is probably the most controversial of the Millennium Development Goals, and FBB supports no particular viewpoint concerning which form globalization and partnerships should take. Check out these reads to get a start on the geopolitics of globalization, and let us know your thoughts on the subject.

  • The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade – Pietra Rivoli
  • The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change – Al Gore
  • The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization – Thomas Friedman
  • Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism – Muhammad Yunus
  • Globalization and Its Discontents – Joseph Stiglitz


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