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Getting to Zero: Finishing the Job the MDGs Started: A Political Salon with John McArthur

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 6:30pm

World Policy Institute presents:

Getting to Zero: Finishing the Job the MDGs Started
A Political Salon with John McArthur

Tuesday, April 24, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
This event is by invitation only.

The World Health Organization and UNICEF recently announced that the world has met the Millennium Development Goal for increasing access to safe drinking water. The central reference point for global development efforts since they were established as international targets in 2000, the eight Millennium Development Goals set a compelling agenda to cut the many forms of extreme poverty in half by 2015. Over time, the Goals have gained traction far beyond the walls of government.  Bill Gates has called them “the best idea for focusing the world on fighting global poverty that [he has] ever seen.”  Nonetheless, the MDGs have weaknesses, as water illustrates: regional shortfalls can persist even as overall targets are met, as in the case of water.  The goals will expire in 2015, and even when met only mark a halfway point. It is time to start preparing the ground for new goals to mark the sustainable end of extreme poverty – a vision of “getting to zero” within a generation, i.e., by 2030.  In this Political Salon, John McArthur will talk about how to set a new generation of goals for ending extreme poverty against the backdrop of a challenging moment for international policy cooperation and the UN’s upcoming “Rio+20” summit.

About the Speaker:

John W. McArthur is an international development economist focused on issues of poverty reduction, global collaboration, and sustainability. He is a Senior Fellow with the UN Foundation and Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.  He was formerly CEO of Millennium Promise, the international non-governmental organization committed to supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a faculty member at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and Policy Director at the University’s Earth Institute.  Previously he served as Deputy Director and Manager of the United Nations Millennium Project, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s independent advisory body mandated to recommend an action plan for achieving the MDGs.  In that role he coordinated a global network of nearly 300 experts who served on ten thematic Task Forces, oversaw a policy team that provided integrated technical advice to governments in low-income countries around the world, and served as lead editor of the Project's final report, Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  Prior to that he was a Research Fellow at Harvard University, where he supported the WHO Commission on Macroeconomics and Health and co-authored the Global Competitiveness Report.  In 2007-08 he co-chaired the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice.  He currently chairs the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Benchmarking Progress has been recognized by the organization as a Young Global Leader.  He received a DPhil and MPhil in Economics from Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar), MPP from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government; and BA (Hons) from the University of British Columbia.

About the Sponsors:

The World Policy Institute, a non-partisan global think tank, engages fresh ideas and new voices from around the world to address critical shared challenges. WPI's Fellows program, regular public and private events, policy development, media activities, and flagship World Policy Journal provide a forum for solution-focused policy analysis and debate. It seeks and promotes policy solutions in support of an inclusive and sustainable global market economy, effective global governance, and broadened security strategies.

The Political Salon, organized by Steve Sokol since 2003 to promote dialogue among the next generation of leaders in business, policy, and the media, regularly convenes a diverse group of young professionals to discuss a range of foreign policy issues and global affairs. Attendees are diverse in terms of nationality, profession, and political persuasion. 

With special thanks to the Heinrich Böll Foundation for supporting the Political Salon.





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