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TOO MANY GOALS MEANS NO PRIORITIES

Bjorn Lomborg and the world’s top economists, including Nobel Laureates, to help set smarter, evidence-based goals for the post-2015 agenda.

New York, NY, USA: March 26, 2014

Today, the Copenhagen Consensus Center launches the Post 2015 Consensus. The top-rated think tank’s latest project has enlisted the world’s leading economists, including Nobel Laureates, to help the UN set smarter goals for the post-2015 agenda.

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, President of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, has said: “the post-2015 goals are extremely important. They could influence as much as $700BN USD in foreign aid over the next 15 years. It’s important we get them right, by focusing on goals that will lead to the most benefit relative to the cost of achieving them.”

The goals, which will replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2015, are set to shape the international development landscape until 2030, creating enormous potential for positive change. However, the current debate is not only inundated with proposals – although well-intentioned – but also lacks a realistic framework to prioritize these goals. As stated by Dr. Lomborg, “there are many, many great goal suggestions – in fact well over 1,000 at last count. We are drowning in a sea of suggestions, but we don’t have a method to know which ones are best – this is why we need this project.”

The Post 2015 Consensus aims to bring much needed economic evidence and prioritization to the debate. Over the next 12 months, the team of top economists will be releasing research on the costs and benefits of UN goals across 19 different focus areas. These include long-standing development concerns such as health, poverty, education, and environment – but also prominent post-2015 issues such as the ‘data revolution’ for development, and curbing illicit financial flows.

The project has received support from governments and international actors worldwide, who see it as a much-needed addition to the existing post-2015 debate.

Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Julie Bishop MP has stated that “it is vital that the billions of dollars that governments provide for international development are used to greatest effect to improve living standards in developing countries. I welcome the initiative of the Copenhagen Consensus Center in undertaking a project to identify the most effective development goals for 2015 and beyond.”

Richard Morgan, UNICEF’s senior advisor on the post-2015 development agenda, has also conveyed that “effective investments for today’s children are fundamental for a better and more equitable world in future. The Copenhagen Consensus Centre brings a simple but compelling logic to this endeavor: if we want to make sure that this world is realized for our children, let’s focus on the investments that will generate the most good.”