The following is an abridged version of the speech Maria Rodale delivered at the United Nations on Monday, December 8, 2014, upon receiving Auburn University's International Quality of Life Laureate Award.
To create empowering, inclusive dialogue around what the world is doing RIGHT, and what we, as people, aspire towards -- allowing a voice for all those who are interested in being a part of the solution.
Guaranteeing Civil Rights, Political Rights, and Personal Security is a critical development goal. This post discusses indicators for personal security. 'Personal security' is an inherently context-specific issue, so at least some indicators should be designed from the bottom up.
Given that civil and political rights targets aim to hold governments accountable for fulfilling international human rights treaty obligations, assessment should be external to government authorities, impartial, and conducted by legitimate international bodies.
Empowering individuals and communities to assert and realize their rights can ensure that the law protects against government corruption and discrimination, and gives a voice to the least politically powerful, who might otherwise be ignored.
Open and accountable government is a crucial aspect of socioeconomic development. Although open and accountable government may seem an abstract and immeasurable goal, it is indeed feasible to assess performance on these critical governance issues.
A clearer focus on combating discrimination and inequality in the post-2015 development framework would help ensure that the most marginalized and vulnerable groups are not left out and left behind in the pursuit of macroeconomic growth.
In the last round of the Millennium Development Goals, governance and human rights issues were largely excluded, despite their critical importance to sustainable and equitable development. Of course, quantifying and evaluating progress on these complex issues is not simple.
Human rights and good governance are critical aspects of global development. A significant body of research over the past fifteen years has decisively demonstrated that good institutions are a critical ingredient in eradicating poverty and creating equitable, sustainable, and inclusive growth.
The point isn't that you have to believe the positive and ignore the negative. The two sides are intimately linked and inescapable. But you can align yourself with the positive side. The vote is cast at the level of consciousness.
What do you think of people in poverty? Maybe what Jessica Jackley once did: "they" need "our" help, in the form of a few coins in a jar. The co-founder of Kiva.org talks about how her attitude changed.