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The World We Want: Towards sustainable development

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The World We Want logo

The World We Want is a global platform created by the United Nations to effect mass participation in development policy-making. The platform hosts official UN open consultations online, where it engages people’s voices from around the world in an effort to set out an inclusive post-2015 vision for sustainable development, which is to be used by the United Nations and world leaders.

Roots in the Millennium Development Goals

The World We Want is firmly rooted to the spirit of the development blueprint drawn up by the United Nations and agreed to by 189 world leaders in 2000.

The Millennium Development Goals, penned in United Nations’ New York headquarters, set out eight fundamental goals for 2000-2015, which are as follows:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
  2. Universal primary education.
  3. Empower women and promote gender equality.
  4. Reduce child mortality.
  5. Improve maternal health.
  6. Reduce HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases.
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability.
  8. Develop global partnerships for development.

As a result of the global effort to realise these goals, the number of people living in poverty has halved since 1990; more than two billion people have gained access to safe drinking water; and the number of people living in urban slums has fallen, bettering the lives of almost 100 million.

Towards an inclusive post-2015 development agenda

Despite advances made in the improvement of the conditions at which the Millennium Development Goals are aimed, there is yet much work to be done.

Poverty remains rife, with over one and a half million people living in extreme forms poverty; child mortality remains a concern - a preventable infant death occurs every four seconds; and extreme hunger still affects over 900 million people.

These sets of conditions persist against a backdrop of climate change, inequality, conflict, the subversions of human rights, a faltering world economy, and a rising population - which is predicted to reach nine and a half billion by the year 2050. However, there are sufficient resources to eradicate poverty and ensure the sustainability of our world.

The work of The World We Want is to engage with a post-Millenium-Development-Goals vision - accordingly, a post-2015 development vision - that confronts these pressing issues beyond the initial timeline of the MDGs. One which hinges on a collective vision established by civil society through open consultations and mass public participation. A vision which is to be used by the United Nations and world leaders for the planning of a new development agenda.

Consultations for post-2015 development

The first round of consultations hosted by The World We Want began in 2012, focusing on defining major thematic issues that matter to people around the world. In 2014, open consultations began on the means of implementation of a post-2015 development agenda. Below you can find details of both types of consultations.

Thematic consultations

The platform’s initial consultations focus on collating the global challenges, as put forward by stakeholders, within 11 thematic categories. These categories are as follows:

  1. Inequality
  2. Government
  3. Growth & employment
  4. Health
  5. Education
  6. Environmental sustainability
  7. Food security & nutrition
  8. Conflict
  9. Population
  10. Energy
  11. Water

The aims of these consultations are to foster a shared vision for change supported by a broad coalition around the defined themes; to take on the knowledge gained from implementing the MDGs, and to find new opportunities for the eradication of poverty and the enhancement of human development.

Country consultations

In addition to online thematic consultations, 88 country consultations were undertaken, each tailored to its specific context, engaging with governments, civil society, the private sector, the media, universities and think tanks. These consultations fall under the following geographic categories:

  1. Africa
  2. Asia & Pacific
  3. Latin America & the Caribbean
  4. Arab states
  5. Eastern Europe & CIS

Country consultations are used to collate and provide information and evidence about the hurdles people face in bettering not only their own lives, but that of their families and communities as well.


In 2014, consultations were commenced for the purpose of discussing the means of implementing a post-2015 development agenda. Drawing upon the knowledge of people around the world, the implementation consultations focused on the following paths to support the delivery of post-2015 goals:

  1. Localising post-2015 development goals.
  2. Strengthening capacities & building effective institutions.
  3. Collective monitoring for accountability.
  4. Civil society partnerships.
  5. Private sector engagement.
  6. Culture & development.

Environmental consultations

A key issue for the post-2015 development agenda is climate change and the environment. Consultations hosted by the World We Want platform with an environmental dimension include those on air quality and healthy environment (Nairobi, 30 October 2015), and the My Green World 2015 Survey, which builds on initial environmental consultations to gather perspectives on climate change solutions to support initiatives from COP 21.

How to get involved

To get involved, you can share your email address with The World We Want. You will receive an invitation via email through which you can join the platform.

You will have to follow the link and go through the appropriate checks, before creating and customising your profile. Once your account is up and running, find an issue to which you want to lend your voice on the platform and start participating.

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