Start with the schools. That's where the future is made.
The Sustainable Development Goals are about much more than achieving a diplomatic consensus. Starting next year, they will serve as a road-map for driving development around the world, including the world's poorest countries.
Land degradation and subsequent desertification are becoming some of the most pressing development issues. It is estimated that one-third of the world's arable land has been lost in the last 40 years due to soil erosion.
Some see WPD as a day to focus on the population "boom," or overpopulation, but ultimately this just distracts people from a universal truth: If women and girls can access contraception, they are more likely to finish school, they will have fewer children by choice, and they are more likely to prosper.
The stakes could not be greater. More than 58 million children around the world are simply not in school and 250 million are not acquiring the basic knowledge and skills they should by grade four.
Rwanda's success, while remarkable, is not a mystery. Investments were based on the evidence, tackling the biggest threats to child survival by increasing effective interventions such as vaccinations and breastfeeding rates.
As we celebrate the Day of the African Child this week, we hold in our hearts the brave Nigerian schoolgirls -- those in captivity, those who have escaped, the thousands whose fearless assertion of their right to an education has put them now at such risk.
Smart collaboration is about working together to improve health outcomes for vulnerable, underserved and marginalized women and children in resource-poor environments. Although uniting in coalition toward collective action is not always easy, it allows us to learn from each other and leverage our strengths to improve the lives of women and children globally.
How is it that in 2014 a girl still has to ask for a whiteboard in her classroom? How is it that in 2014 more than 200 girls can simply vanish into a forest for more than a month?
In the world of venture capital, a success rate of 30 percent is considered a great track record. In the world of international development, critics hold up every misstep as proof that aid is like throwing money down a rat hole. When you're trying to do something as hard as fighting poverty and disease, you will never achieve anything meaningful if you're afraid to make mistakes.
Both internationally and domestically, maternal health is at the center of concern, especially as we near the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals that focus on preventable child and maternal deaths.
Let's stop talking about the death or decline of the arts and humanities. Let's explicitly engage with its rebirth.
The United Nations Millennium Development Goals are the promises the global community made to the poorest in the world. One of those promises was to the world's children. We said that by the end of 2015, every child would be able to go to primary school.
When we give impoverished women a place at the global table of economic development, we take a firm stand in decreasing rates of child mortality and fostering health and prosperity in the developing world. This is something that is well worth celebrating on Mother's Day and supporting all year round.
While there is a role for international financial institutions and the private sector in the fight for clean water, there is no justification for international agencies and corporations to continue promoting water privatization.
Sustainable development is the most urgent challenge facing humanity. The fundamental question is how the world economy can continue to develop in a w...