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As individuals contribute their voices to the post-2015 development agenda, health and education emerge as priorities.
As individuals contribute their voices to the post-2015 development agenda, health and education emerge as priorities.

For the first time in history, the United Nations (UN) are engaging people all around the world in shaping a global agenda: the next development goals.

We are breaking new ground using digital media, mobile phone technology and door-to-door interviewers to include as many individuals as possible in the debate on the future anti-poverty targets that will build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

To date, close to half a million people have taken part in the ongoing “Global Conversation.”

The discussion takes place on several platforms: close to 100 UN Member States are organizing local workshops with the participation of young people, vulnerable women, people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups;  eleven global thematic consultations are taking place online through the World We Want 2015 website, where people can contribute their ideas on issues such as inequalities, food security, and access to water; and the MY World survey, available in 10 languages, invites people to vote for six out of 16 priorities for the future development agenda.

I presented the voices from the conversation to the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and to the representatives of Member States who will ultimately negotiate the next set of goals.

One of the highlights from the conversation is that people back and support the MDGs’ focus on education and health as a means to advance human dignity. They want the next framework to drive further progress in these areas.

Other emerging topics, such as jobs, governance and equality dominate the debate, The Guardian points out. People are calling for an ambitious and transformational agenda that can address critical concerns like rising inequality and exclusion of vulnerable groups, lack of opportunities for youth, protection from violence and abuse and a degraded environment.

I encourage you to form your own opinion by reading our report, “The Global Conversation Begins”, and to join me, my three children and almost 300,000 others to vote on www.MyWorld2015.org to help Member States define priorities for the future global development targets.

Olav Kjørven is UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau for Development Policy at United Nations Development Programme.

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