September 18th, 2010

Bono, wearing his hat as a contributing columnist for The New York Times, sees cause for optimism after ten years of the Millennium Development Goals.

However, with a ‘great distance left to travel’, he describes three areas where the most crucial gains can be made in the coming generation: doubling-down on demonstrated successes; addressing governance as a key development multiplier; and ensuring clarity in assessments of development inputs and outputs.

‘The promise we made at the start of this century was not to perpetuate the old relationships between donors and recipients, but to create new ones, with true partners accountable to each other and above all to the citizens these systems are supposed to work for. Strikes me as the right sort of arrangement for an age of austerity as well as interdependence.’

Bono singles out the Cardin-Lugar Amendment as a critical intervention that will bring transparency to the activities of energy companies. He calls on the European Union and the rest of the G-20 to implement similar measures as important first steps.

‘According to the African entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim, who has emerged as one of the most important voices on that continent, transparency could do more to transform Africa than even debt cancellation has. Measures like this one should be central to any renewed Millennium Development Goal strategy.’