Next set of MDGs? Ask David Cameron

    U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo by: Foreign and Commonwealth Office / CC BY-ND

    Think about it: U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron chairing a new U.N. committee that will establish a fresh set of development goals after 2015. Good, eh?

    The answer may not be so easy for the development community. This new role for Cameron makes certain the United Kingdom will commit to the 0.7 percent aid spending target despite calls from several ministers to drop it, the Guardian says. While this doesn’t mean other donors would follow suit, it does mean more money for the development community.

    But the idea of Cameron on board may mean the focus of post-2015 goals will veer away from mother and child to economic development. The prime minister and U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell have wanted to shift the debate toward economic development, the Guardian reports.

    A government source told the Guardian Mitchell thinks economic factors need to be given “much greater weight” than it receives under the current MDGs. The source said economic development — not aid — is the reason 700 million people in China have been “lifted out of poverty.”

    Concepts such as aid conditionality and public-private partnerships may also see light in the next set of goals under Cameron’s watch. Mitchell said he had set up a department at the Department for International Development to help put private sector development and engagement at “the heart of everything we do.”

    Cameron has accepted U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s invitation to chair the committee, the Guardian says. Consultations will start in May.

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    About the author

    • Jenny Lei Ravelo

      Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.