Will the Millenium Development Goals matter?

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In an argument waged on yesterday’s International Tribune op-ed pages, Bunker Roy claims that they won’t:

Any goal that is driven from the top by international donors and governments not accountable to the communities and without financial transparency is doomed to fail… under the present top-down model, with the absence of a global grass-roots movement with the communities as equal partners, the goals have been broken up compartmentally into project mode, to suit donors and governments.

Kemal Davis argues that they will:

The goals stipulate with needed precision what it is we are setting out to do, and allow us to chart progress toward these interlocking aims, year after year, country by country, to ensure that these promises are kept…. [they] provide the best available framework for fulfilling the promise by world leaders at the summit in 2000 to "spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty."

The Economist says that they can barely be measured, let alone met - so what then are they for?

A discussion that will surely continue at the 2005 World Summit, which kicks off today.

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