BEIJING -- What does China actually mean by the term "eco-civilization?" It is a concept drawn from Chinese experience over the last few decades, as well as China's traditional philosophy of harmony between human beings and nature. It argues that economic and social development can be advanced in a manner that protects the natural environment rather than simply destroying it. The key to this lies in transforming both industry and the nature of the energy inputs that sustain it.
With an estimated seven billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, it has also become easier to reach almost every household on earth with important information to influence their lifestyle and their choices. The pursuit of the SDGs will no longer stay the purview of the polity or parliaments but is in all of our hands. We must use our access to technology as a tool to shape our common journey.
If the world is to have a chance of achieving this ambitious education goal, we know that domestic and donor funding needs to be in place; that it is state systems -- not private systems -- which ensure equitable access to quality education; that there is no quality education without trained teachers; and that targeted interventions to support the most disadvantaged across our societies are vital to ensure no-one is left behind.
By continuing to invest in these and other proven interventions -- especially those aimed at saving newborns during their vulnerable first month -- we can use the next 15 years to cut the child-mortality rate by half again. But let's face it: What we really want for children -- for our own children, for anyone's children -- is not simply to survive, but to thrive.
While our efforts in the health sector clearly meet the bar of "what's working," we cannot shy away from the most difficult challenges. The Ebola epidemic in West Africa demonstrated how weak health systems, and a lack of community health workers, can devastate economies and place the whole world at risk. We were all grotesquely unprepared and disorganized, and cannot allow this to happen again.
In roughly the last 15 years, the same time period as the MDGs, we've also seen the growth of the biggest advances in the fight against poverty, the power of good science. A year after a microloan program starts in a village, are the people there making more money than a similar village without the program? (Not as expected it turns out). Does giving cash grants which don't have to be repaid improve food security in Kenya? (Yes, significantly).
This month the journal Science published the first-ever randomized controlled trial of 21,000 cases of poverty reduction efforts around the globe. This landmark study by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor proves the effectiveness of a multi-pronged, multiyear approach that can help end global poverty by 2030.