Jeffery Sachs, economist and director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, at a recent Climate Week NYC panel discussion. Photo by: The Climate Group / CC BY-NC-SA 

Last week, we featured views by foreign aid critic Bill Easterly on the emerging post-2015 global development framework. This week, we sought the opinion on the same topic from someone who has often clashed with Easterly on international cooperation: Jeffrey Sachs.

And like Easterly’s comments, Sachs’s weren’t surprising. The head of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and father of the Millennium Villages Project said he is “putting a lot of hope” into the sustainable development goals, which are expected to be finalized later this year, and called them the “calling card of our time.” He highlighted the need for funding to ensure progress toward achieving the SDGs.

In response, some Devex readers asked: Whose goals are these?

A reader named tarry2020 asked: “Are they meant for only developing countries or they are ‘globally’ sustainable development goals? If so, is climate change part of the agenda?”

For Stephen Onakuse, the world and mostly developing countries “have had enough of these prescription drugs from the likes of Jeffrey Sachs,” citing the Millennium Villages, the Millennium Development Goals and other programs that, Onakuse claimed, have compounded the problems of poor people instead of solving them.

“It’s all about funding and using the name of the weak and poor to amass wealth,” Onakuse said.

The lack of funding was exactly the reason why there was lack of progress in achieving the MDGs, suggested Wendy Smith, who named the United States as an example of countries that didn’t meet their investment commitments.

She urged: “We have to find a way to engage the citizens of wealthy nations to make global change happen!”

What will it take to ensure the success of the sustainable development goals? Share your views by leaving a comment below.  

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The views in this opinion piece do not necessarily reflect Devex's editorial views.

About the author

  • Ma. Eliza Villarino

    Eliza is a veteran journalist focused on covering the most pressing issues and latest innovations in global health, humanitarian aid, sustainability, and development. A member of Mensa, Eliza has earned a master's degree in public affairs and bachelor's degree in political science from the University of the Philippines.