At Davos last year I was a rapporteur for a session looking at the future of the development agenda. That discussion emphasised the importance of putting the foot on the accelerator on the Millennium Development Goals, as well as ensuring there was greater coherence and accountability on the development of the next set of development goals.
An hour and half drive from Amman, towards the north of Jordan, we arrive at the main gate into the world's second largest refugee camp, Za'atari. Sprawled along dusty desert paths, tents and caravans stretch out as far as the eye can see.
On 9th October last year, a 15 year old girl boarded a bus with her friends after completing exams and began her journey home from school. Suddenly, a masked gunman boarded the bus, singled her out and shot her. Twice. Once in the neck and once in the head. The girl was Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani school girl whose only ‘crime’ was requesting that she – and by extension all girls – should be given the same basic education opportunities afforded to boys.
Late last year, we celebrated an amazing achievement: new data told us that since 1990 the number of children under 5 who die each year of preventable causes had declined by over 40 per cent, from 12 million to 6.9 million. In that same period the world has halved the numbers of maternal deaths. Though still far short of where we need to be, by working together, Governments, aid agencies, NGOs and communities themselves had made an unprecedented leap forward in saving lives.
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