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Ana Silva
Student (Coimbra,Portugal)

Undergraduate student of International Relations, with special interest on gender studies, European Union, international organisations and theories of IR, among other things. I will focus essentially on MDGs, as I consider these to be a very important "feature" that embodies the most important premises of the international system at the present time. They are probably going to fail, but even so we ought to call for the conscience of everybody, so that people become aware of what is being done by their national governments concerning the problems that ultimately affect each and every one of us.

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Post 8 - final tips…

Published 25th July 2010 - 0 comments - 1287 views -

Now that the targets included in MDG 8 – Building a global partnership for development – have been covered, and some “clues” for a critical interpretation of these have been given, it is time to leave some last hints for further reflection.  There is still much left to “say” concerning this broad topic, such as deeper analysis on the actors involved in the “global partnership for development”.

There are many pertinent questions to ask, such as:

- how global is this partnership?

- Who are the actors involved?

- What is the role of actors such as NGO’s in the partnership’s context?”

- etc.

Other very pertinent exercises to be tried are, for example, the establishment of the link between dependency theories and Samir Amin’s critical view on MDGs, as well that the analysis framed by neoliberal institutionalism that seems to be somehow followed by optimist supporters of the Goals, regardless of their total failure (?) so far.

Some optimist perspectives, such as Ban Ki-Moon’s, actually point to the positive chances presented by the current economic crisis to build a momentum on international development cooperation and try to compensate for wasted time and make an extra effort to meet 2015 deadline. The UN summit to be held in September this year will
eventually be the moment that will show whether there’s still hope on the countries’ will to meet the Goals.

The fact that no evident uncontestable progress has been attained concerning MDG 8 – and that reports produced on the same MDG by the Groupe de réflexion sur le retard pris dans la realization des objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement are spare in concrete data or clear evaluation of successes and failures – can somehow lead us to think of Samir Amin’s criticism on “empty rhetoric”, referring to the use of fashionable expressions such as “good governance”, quite present in the vocabulary of MDGs.

Nevertheless, the fact that a group was constituted who is producing reports on this specific goal comes to assert its relevance in the MDGs general context, being considered by some people the most “important” goal, since it somehow encompasses the pre-conditions for the fulfillment of all the others. Considering this acknowledged importance of MDG 8, and given the fact that it is the one Goal that directly addresses the responsibility of developed countries to act, it is also the duty of citizens of these countries to press on their governments to meet previous pledges. 

We should not hesitate to question ourselves (and the others, namely political leaders!) on what does a “partnership for development” mean, on whether there actually is one, and if so, what kind of balance can be established in terms of power distribution among States… Finally, try to ask ourselves (as someone asked in the "Th!nk about it - Round 3" launching conference) “who is helping whom to develop through this partnership?”.


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