This paper was prepared ahead of the ODI/UNDP Cairo workshop on a post-2015 Global Development Agreement, 26-27 October 2011.
The paper discusses two aspects of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) agreement as global consensus on the main priorities for tackling poverty and as a political agreement about the level of accountability governments are prepared to accept for making changes.
It summarises key data on progress towards the targets since the 1990s, and considers some key features of poverty and development today that are not covered by the MDGs. Turning to the political aspects of an agreement, the paper then sets the MDGs in the context of other global agreements, and the post-2015 discussion in the context of current trends in global governance.
The paper concludes by summarising the key questions to be addressed in the workshop.