Zia Qureshi - Senior Adviser in the Office of the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, The World Bank
Kirk Hamilton - Team Leader, Policy and Economics, Environment Department, The World Bank
Owen Barder - Director of International Finance & Development Effectiveness (IFDE) at DFID
Simon Maxwell - Director, ODI
The Global Monitoring Report 2008: MDGs and the Environment - Agenda for Inclusive and Sustainable Development comes at the halfway point in the effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The 2008 GMR warns that, if the current situation persists, most developing countries will fall short of meeting the MDGs. Though much of the world is set to halve extreme poverty by then, the goals of reducing child and maternal mortality are unlikely to be met, with serious shortfalls also likely in the primary school completion, nutrition, and sanitation goals.
The special theme of this year's report is the link between environment and development, with a particular focus on the effects of climate change and the degradation of natural resources. The GMR stresses that, to sustain growth in developing countries, donors and policymakers in developing countries must anticipate long term pressures on the global commons, but also support measures to cushion the impact of food and oil price shocks as well as financial market turmoil on poor people in the short term.
The joint World Bank-IMF report also assesses progress on aid effectiveness and on the ability of international financial institutions to leverage assistance more effectively as their share of aid shrinks.
To get back on track to meet the MDGs, the report proposes a 6-point agenda for inclusive and sustainable development. The hope is that the agenda proposed in the GMR will be taken up by decision makers at both the September High-level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Ghana and at the December Financing for Development conference in Doha. The international development community must act fast in 2008, since this year offers unique opportunities for turning the tide and for reaching these globally agreed goals.