140050_IOB_alumni-mag_A4_20140429_final.pdf - Page 2
p. 8 From
To contact us:
IOB - Universiteit Antwerpen
Lange St.-Annastraat 7, 2000 Antwerp
2/2014 • © IOB - Universiteit Antwerpen
15 year IOB
Voice from the field
Living with Ebola
panel! p. 4
2015, the most announced year ever
My best wishes for the New Year! 2015 is probably the most announced year ever in World History: we started the
countdown indeed already in the nineties, well before the turn of the Millennium. We promised to halve extreme
poverty, among 20 other “measurable and time-bound indicators”. And we kept at least this most renowned
promise. Of the many promises we did not keep, we made substantial progress in any case.
In the meantime, the attention of the “we”, the international community, shifted from the MDGs to the post-MDG
era: what comes next? We will know by the end of this year.
The debate around the post-MDGs has two big advantages. First, the debate has the merit of existing. While the
MDGs were effectively decided in the offices of the OECD and the UN, the post-MDG debate is carried back and
forward by a large diversity of actors, surfing on the waves made by both the believers and the nonbelievers in
the actual MDGs. Second, conspicuously present among the debaters – because they were not present before:
some important actors from the Global South itself, not to mention China and Brazil. If the actual MDGs allegedly
represented a first global consensus on what development is, the post-MDG debate unmasks that first consensus as
the very last definition of development by countries that saw themselves as developed. Indeed, the 21 MDG targets
only described specific targets for developing countries, and in the context of debt relief negotiations, the MDGs also
served as a new discourse of subordination. The post-MDGs open a new space to discuss our mutual responsibilities
for development. The “emerging” themes of sustainable development and global inequality serve well to make
this point. And after all, let’s be clear, the progress made while counting down to 2015 was realised in the South, by
Southern actors, while the Northern actors merely excelled in doing the counting.
So my best wishes for the post-2015 too!
Tom De Herdt