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GOOD NEWS FROM THE GATES FOUNDATION: WORLD'S POOR HEADED FOR BETTER LIVES IN 2030


Photo: Billionaire philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates say they are optimistic that innovations will improve lives by 2030. (Reuters/Rick Wilking) The lives of the poor will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any time in history, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and his wife Melinda say. In their annual letter released Thursday, the couple laid out their upbeat vision for a technology-driven wave of change that will lift hundreds of millions out of poverty by 2030. The major breakthroughs will be most noticeable in health, but also in agriculture, digital banking and online education, where the Gates Foundation is planning to pour in resources. "Our big bet is that in the next 15 years, the lives of the poor are going to improve more than at any time in the history of the world," Melinda Gates told AFP in an interview. Child deaths are predicted to be cut by half, polio will be wiped out while the fight against malaria, a major killer in Africa, will make strides with vaccines and a single-dose cure. Africa can achieve food security by 2030 with access to innovation in agriculture to help farmers, the Gates said in their letter, a vision statement that has been released annually since 2009. "Seven out of 10 adults in Africa are farmers. When they get new seeds that are drought-resistant and as the climate changes, they can still get more yield off their farms," said Melinda. "It means they can feed their families and put the crops on the market." Mobile banking has been popularized in Kenya, but the Gates Foundation is working to bring the financial tool to the poor in Tanzania, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Uganda. She sees potential for poverty reduction through online education and the development of software, especially for cell phones to help teachers and students. READ MORE...

ALSO: The Most Important Thing, and It’s Almost a Secret
[The world’s best-kept secret is that people live at a historic inflection point when extreme poverty is retreating. UN members have just adopted 17 new Global Goals, of which the centerpiece is the elimination of extreme poverty by 2030.]


Students in Harper, Liberia. The Liberian government and activists are trying to to enroll more girls in schools. Credit Ahmed Jallanzo/European Pressphoto Agency
Journalists are a bit like vultures, feasting on war, scandal and disaster. Turn on the news and you see Syrian refugees, Volkswagen corruption and dysfunctional government. Yet that reflects a selection bias in how they report the news: They cover planes that crash, not planes that take off. Indeed, maybe the most important thing happening in the world today is something that they almost never cover: A stunning decline in poverty, illiteracy and disease. Everyone knows about the spread of armed conflict, the rise of AIDS and other diseases, the hopeless intractability of poverty and the natural disasters brought about by climate change. One survey found that two-thirds of Americans believed that the proportion of the world population living in extreme poverty has almost doubled over the past 20 years. Another 29 percent believed that the proportion had remained about the same. That is 95 percent of Americans — who are utterly wrong. In fact, the proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty has not doubled or remained the same. It has fallen by more than half, from 35 percent in 1993 to 14 percent in 2011 (the most recent year for which figures are available from the World Bank). When 95 percent of Americans are completely unaware of a transformation of this magnitude, that reflects a flaw in the way journalists cover world events. Consider the following facts: — The number of extremely poor people (defined as those earning less than US$1 or US$1.25 a day, depending on who is counting) rose inexorably until the middle of the 20th century, then roughly stabilized for a few decades. Since the 1990s, the number of poor has plummeted. — In 1990, more than 12 million children died before the age of five; this toll has since dropped by more than half. — More children than ever are becoming educated, especially girls. In the 1980s, only half of girls in developing nations completed elementary school; now, 80 percent do. Granted, about 16,000 children still die unnecessarily each day. It is maddening to watch children dying simply because they were born in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, one reason for the current complacency is a feeling that poverty is inevitable — and that is unwarranted. READ MORE...

ALSO World Bank: 'extreme poverty' to fall below 10% of world population for first time
[It projects 702 million people or 9.6% of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty in 2015, down from 902 million people or 12.8% in 2012]


Indians catch fish at a slum in Allahabad. The World Bank says extreme poverty is likely to fall below 10% globally this year. Indians catch fish at a slum in Allahabad. The World Bank says extreme poverty is likely to fall below 10% globally this year. Photograph: Demotix/Corbis Reuters The number of people living in extreme poverty is likely to fall for the first time below 10% of the world’s population in 2015, the World Bank said on Sunday as it revised its benchmark for measuring the problem. UN: 15-year push ends extreme poverty for a billion people Read more “This is the best story in the world today,” said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim. “These projections show us that we are the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty.” Extreme poverty has long been defined as living on or below $1.25 a day, but the World Bank’s adjustment now sets the poverty line at $1.90 a day. The Bank said the change reflects new data on differences in the cost of living across countries, while preserving the real purchasing power of the previous yardstick. Using the new benchmark, the World Bank projects 702 million people or 9.6% of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty in 2015, down from 902 million people or 12.8% of the global population in 2012. The global development lender attributed the continued fall in poverty to strong economic growth rates in emerging markets, particularly India, and investments in education, health, and social safety nets. However, Kim warned slower global growth, volatile financial markets, conflicts, high youth unemployment and the impact of climate change were obstacles to meeting a UN target to end poverty by 2030, part of a new set of development goals adopted by 193 countries at the United Nations last month. READ MORE...

ALSO U.N. Adopts Ambitious Global Goals After Years of Negotiations


Amina J. Mohammed, center, a United Nations diplomat, at a news conference on global health for women and children on Thursday in New York. Credit Michael Appleton for The New York Times UNITED NATIONS — The last time Amina J. Mohammed went home to see her extended family in northern Nigeria, her cousins asked her to skip her usual gifts of clothes and sweets and bring them something that they really needed: body scanners for the gates of the local mosque, to guard against suicide bombers sent by Boko Haram.
Their request summed up for her what has happened to the place she calls home, and how years of dysfunction and destitution had turned the region into a battleground. “Terrorists are not born,” is how she put it the other day. “What was it that birthed Boko Haram?”  The answer, in her view, can be found in the problems she has spent the last three and a half years trying to get world leaders to agree to address: corrupt government leaders, crumbling schools, and the effects of climate change. In northern Nigeria and the surrounding Sahel region, that has meant the aggressive advance of the desert, swallowing what were once farms, and the shrinking of Lake Chad, which once seemed so vast that when she crossed it in a hovercraft, she said it was “like I was flying to England.”  “Now,” she said, “it’s a puddle.”  Ms. Mohammed, 54, has served as the top United Nations diplomat responsible for corralling countries to commit to a spectacularly ambitious set of global development goals, meant to save the planet and its most vulnerable people. Known as the Sustainable Development Goals, or Agenda 2030 after the deadline for meeting them, or often just as the Global Goals, they were adopted on Friday at the opening of a three-day summit meeting in New York, which 154 heads of state and government were due to attend. The goals apply to all countries, and they are fleshed out with 169 specific targets for action. The estimated price tag for achieving them is $3 trillion, and few people think it will be easy. “The low-hanging fruit have almost all been picked,” said Jim Kim, the president of the World Bank. Though the goals are not legally binding on any country, they gain moral force from having been adopted by consensus after three years of lengthy negotiations. The sticking points along the way included objections from Qatar, the Vatican and others over access to sexual and reproductive health services, and pushback from the United States and others over reducing inequality. There were, and still are, fierce disagreements over tax loopholes used by firms in poor countries, and on the need to root out corruption. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS:

World's poor headed for better lives in 2030: Gates


Photo: Billionaire philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates say they are optimistic that innovations will improve lives by 2030. (Reuters/Rick Wilking)

MANILA, OCTOBER 12, 2015 (MANILA STANDARD) By AFP/by Carole LANDRY | Jan. 22, 2015 at 04:17pm New York, United States | Thursday - The lives of the poor will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any time in history, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and his wife Melinda say.

In their annual letter released Thursday, the couple laid out their upbeat vision for a technology-driven wave of change that will lift hundreds of millions out of poverty by 2030.

The major breakthroughs will be most noticeable in health, but also in agriculture, digital banking and online education, where the Gates Foundation is planning to pour in resources.

"Our big bet is that in the next 15 years, the lives of the poor are going to improve more than at any time in the history of the world," Melinda Gates told AFP in an interview.

Child deaths are predicted to be cut by half, polio will be wiped out while the fight against malaria, a major killer in Africa, will make strides with vaccines and a single-dose cure.

Africa can achieve food security by 2030 with access to innovation in agriculture to help farmers, the Gates said in their letter, a vision statement that has been released annually since 2009.

"Seven out of 10 adults in Africa are farmers. When they get new seeds that are drought-resistant and as the climate changes, they can still get more yield off their farms," said Melinda.

"It means they can feed their families and put the crops on the market."

Mobile banking has been popularized in Kenya, but the Gates Foundation is working to bring the financial tool to the poor in Tanzania, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Uganda.


World's poor headed for better lives in 2030: Gates

She sees potential for poverty reduction through online education and the development of software, especially for cell phones to help teachers and students.

READ MORE...

- Confounding the skeptics -

The Gates' "big bet" that the world will be a better place in 2030 comes at a time of gloom in international circles with humanitarian agencies struggling to help a record number of people displaced by conflicts.

The letter acknowledges that there are skeptics and that "we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that a handful of the worst-off countries will continue to struggle."

But Melinda said her numerous fact-finding missions on the ground in Africa and Asia -- along with a clear faith in "the new tools of science" -- were feeding her optimism.

"Bill and I see progress because we see the global statistics," she said. "We see child mortality going down. And then you go out and travel."

She singled out Tanzania, which she has visited several times, and said it was a "completely different" country from her first trip a decade ago, with improvements in infrastructure and other key sectors.

In its campaign to bring vaccines to developing countries, the foundation has succeeded in cutting down the lag time for the life-saving medicines to reach the poor from 20-25 years to one-three years.

Active in more than 100 countries, the foundation has more than $42 billion in endowments to fund projects and innovations, but the Gates said their work also focused on shaping policy with governments.

Non-governmental organizations can "show points of lights" when it comes to fighting poverty, but "it takes governments to scale those up."

---------------------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM THE GATES FOUNDATION WEBSITE


www.gatesfoundation.org

i-Gates Foundation

The Gates Foundation has quickly become a major influence upon global health; the approximately US$800 million that the foundation gives every year for global health approaches the annual budget of the United Nations World Health Organization (193 nations) and is comparable to the funds given to fight infectious disease by the United States Agency for International Development.

The Foundation currently provides 17% (US$86 million in 2006) of the world budget for the attempted eradication of poliomyelitis(polio).

The charitable organization is involved in both improving health, and eradication of disease, mostly in third world countries.

Bill Gates has applied himself to philantropy, as he did to programming; unusual, energetic, and overseeing all details.

He does not want his organization to fall prey to many philantropy gifts; money not reaching the intended goals, but going line the pockets of politicians, etc.

 

VIDEO: My Hope for 2030 | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
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Published on Jan 23, 2013
Share your hope for 2030 at http://myhope2030.com .

Every year Bill Gates shares his annual letter, highlighting the work being done to help the world's poorest people. This year, he wants to hear from you. What goals do you think we should set to help improve the world for the next generation? What's your hope for 2030?

When the world comes together to solve big problems, amazing results are possible. Share your thoughts and Bill will include some of his favorites in his January 2013 letter.
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NEW YORK TIMES

The Most Important Thing, and It’s Almost a Secret By Nick Kristof / NY Times News Service, NEW YORK October 1, 2015


By Nicholas Kristof


Journalists are a bit like vultures, feasting on war, scandal and disaster. Turn on the news and you see Syrian refugees, Volkswagen corruption and dysfunctional government.

Yet that reflects a selection bias in how they report the news: They cover planes that crash, not planes that take off. Indeed, maybe the most important thing happening in the world today is something that they almost never cover:

A stunning decline in poverty, illiteracy and disease.

Everyone knows about the spread of armed conflict, the rise of AIDS and other diseases, the hopeless intractability of poverty and the natural disasters brought about by climate change.

One survey found that two-thirds of Americans believed that the proportion of the world population living in extreme poverty has almost doubled over the past 20 years.

Another 29 percent believed that the proportion had remained about the same.
That is 95 percent of Americans — who are utterly wrong.

In fact, the proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty has not doubled or remained the same.

It has fallen by more than half, from 35 percent in 1993 to 14 percent in 2011 (the most recent year for which figures are available from the World Bank).

When 95 percent of Americans are completely unaware of a transformation of this magnitude, that reflects a flaw in the way journalists cover world events.
Consider the following facts:

The number of extremely poor people (defined as those earning less than US$1 or US$1.25 a day, depending on who is counting) rose inexorably until the middle of the 20th century, then roughly stabilized for a few decades. Since the 1990s, the number of poor has plummeted.

In 1990, more than 12 million children died before the age of five; this toll has since dropped by more than half.

More children than ever are becoming educated, especially girls. In the 1980s, only half of girls in developing nations completed elementary school; now, 80 percent do.

Granted, about 16,000 children still die unnecessarily each day. It is maddening to watch children dying simply because they were born in the wrong place at the wrong time.

However, one reason for the current complacency is a feeling that poverty is inevitable — and that is unwarranted.

READ MORE...

The world’s best-kept secret is that people live at a historic inflection point when extreme poverty is retreating.

UN members have just adopted 17 new Global Goals, of which the centerpiece is the elimination of extreme poverty by 2030.

Their goals are historic. There will still be poor people, of course, but very few who are too poor to eat or to send children to school.

Young journalists or aid workers starting out today will in their careers see very little of the leprosy, illiteracy, elephantiasis and river blindness that their older colleagues have seen routinely.

“We live at a time of the greatest development progress among the global poor in the history of the world,” Georgetown University professor and development economist Steven Radelet wrote in a book set to published next month, The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World.

“The next two decades can be even better and can become the greatest era of progress for the world’s poor in human history,” Radelet wrote.

Some write often about inequality, a huge challenge in the US, but globally, inequality is diminishing, because of the rise of poor countries.

While the media churn out a seemingly endless string of bad news, they ignore the fact that the number of people living in extreme poverty has halved globally

When 95 percent of Americans are completely unaware of a transformation of this magnitude, that reflects a flaw in how we journalists cover the world — and I count myself among the guilty. Consider:

• The number of extremely poor people (defined as those earning less than $1 or $1.25 a day, depending on who’s counting) rose inexorably until the middle of the 20th century, then roughly stabilized for a few decades. Since the 1990s, the number of poor has plummeted.

• In 1990, more than 12 million children died before the age of 5; this toll has since dropped by more than half.

• More kids than ever are becoming educated, especially girls. In the 1980s, only half of girls in developing countries completed elementary school; now, 80 percent do.



Students in Harper, Liberia. The Liberian government and activists are trying to to enroll more girls in schools. Credit Ahmed Jallanzo/European Pressphoto Agency

The most important thing going on in the world today is something we almost never cover: a rapid decline in poverty, illiteracy and disease.

Granted, some 16,000 children still die unnecessarily each day. It’s maddening in my travels to watch children dying simply because they were born in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But one reason for our current complacency is a feeling that poverty is inevitable — and that’s unwarranted.

“The next two decades can be even better and can become the greatest era of progress for the world’s poor in human history,” Radelet writes.

I write often about inequality, a huge challenge in the U.S. But globally, inequality is diminishing, because of the rise of poor countries.

What does all this mean in human terms?


Malala

I was thinking of that last week while interviewing Malala Yousafzai, the teenage Nobel Peace Prize winner. Malala’s mother grew up illiterate, like the women before her, and was raised to be invisible to outsiders.

Malala is a complete contrast: educated, saucy, outspoken and perhaps the most visible teenage girl in the world.

Even in countries like Pakistan, the epoch of illiterate and invisible women like Malala’s mother is fading; the epoch of Malala is dawning.

The challenge now is to ensure that rich donor nations are generous in supporting the Global Goals — but also that developing countries do their part, rather than succumbing to corruption and inefficiency. (I’m talking to you, Angola!)

There’s one last false argument to puncture. Cynics argue that saving lives is pointless, because the result is overpopulation that leads more to starve. Not true. Part of this wave of progress is a stunning drop in birthrates.

Haitian women now average 3.1 children; in 1985, they had six. In Bangladesh, women now average 2.2 children. Indonesians, 2.3. When the poor know that their children will survive, when they educate their daughters, when they access family planning, they have fewer children.

So let’s get down to work and, on our watch, defeat extreme poverty worldwide. We know that the challenges are surmountable — because we’ve already turned the tide of history.

I invite you to join me on Facebook and Google+, watch my YouTube videos and follow me on Twitter (@NickKristof) .

A version of this op-ed appears in print on October 1, 2015, on page A31 of the New York edition with the headline: The Most Important Thing . Today's Paper|Subscribe


THE GUARDIAN, UK

World Bank: 'extreme poverty' to fall below 10% of world population for first time Reuters Monday 5 October 2015 02.40 BST


Indians catch fish at a slum in Allahabad. The World Bank says extreme poverty is likely to fall below 10% globally this year. Indians catch fish at a slum in Allahabad. The World Bank says extreme poverty is likely to fall below 10% globally this year. Photograph: Demotix/Corbis Reuters

The number of people living in extreme poverty is likely to fall for the first time below 10% of the world’s population in 2015, the World Bank said on Sunday as it revised its benchmark for measuring the problem.

UN: 15-year push ends extreme poverty for a billion people Read more “This is the best story in the world today,” said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim. “These projections show us that we are the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty.”

Extreme poverty has long been defined as living on or below $1.25 a day, but the World Bank’s adjustment now sets the poverty line at $1.90 a day.

The Bank said the change reflects new data on differences in the cost of living across countries, while preserving the real purchasing power of the previous yardstick.

Using the new benchmark, the World Bank projects 702 million people or 9.6% of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty in 2015, down from 902 million people or 12.8% of the global population in 2012.

The global development lender attributed the continued fall in poverty to strong economic growth rates in emerging markets, particularly India, and investments in education, health, and social safety nets.

However, Kim warned slower global growth, volatile financial markets, conflicts, high youth unemployment and the impact of climate change were obstacles to meeting a UN target to end poverty by 2030, part of a new set of development goals adopted by 193 countries at the United Nations last month.

Read more

“But it remains within our grasp, as long as our high aspirations are matched by country-led plans that help the still millions of people living in extreme poverty,” Kim added.

According to the bank, around half of those living in extreme poverty by 2020 will hail from hard-to-reach fragile and conflict-affected states.

Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for half of the global poor.


A UN soldier in Haiti distributes food to children in Port-au-Prince. Photograph: UN

He said the prospect of emerging economies losing steam could challenge promises to eradicate extreme poverty.

“If economic growth of the developing world over the last 15 years was an anomaly, was a blip, then we’re in trouble,” said Laurence Chandy, a fellow at the Brookings Institution whose research focuses on global poverty.

“If instead it’s a kind new normal then we’ve got a good chance of getting close to this goal,” he said.

The World Bank first introduced a global poverty line in 1990, setting it at $1 a day. It was adjusted last in 2008, when the group raised it to $1.25 a day.

Across the planet, the number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped by more than half since 1990, when 1.9 billion people lived on under $1.25 a day, compared to 836 million in 2015, according to the UN.

This follows the adoption in 2001 of the millennium development goals, which included the eradication of extreme poverty.

Replacing the MDGs are the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 goals to combat poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030 – with ending extreme poverty for all people everywhere, a key target.

This article was amended on 5 October 2015. The article originally stated that the millennium development goals were adopted in 2000.


NEW YORK TMES

U.N. Adopts Ambitious Global Goals After Years of Negotiations By SOMINI SENGUPTASEPT. 25, 2015


Amina J. Mohammed, center, a United Nations diplomat, at a news conference on global health for women and children on Thursday in New York. Credit Michael Appleton for The New York Times

UNITED NATIONS — The last time Amina J. Mohammed went home to see her extended family in northern Nigeria, her cousins asked her to skip her usual gifts of clothes and sweets and bring them something that they really needed: body scanners for the gates of the local mosque, to guard against suicide bombers sent by Boko Haram.

Their request summed up for her what has happened to the place she calls home, and how years of dysfunction and destitution had turned the region into a battleground. “Terrorists are not born,” is how she put it the other day. “What was it that birthed Boko Haram?”

The answer, in her view, can be found in the problems she has spent the last three and a half years trying to get world leaders to agree to address: corrupt government leaders, crumbling schools, and the effects of climate change. In northern Nigeria and the surrounding Sahel region, that has meant the aggressive advance of the desert, swallowing what were once farms, and the shrinking of Lake Chad, which once seemed so vast that when she crossed it in a hovercraft, she said it was “like I was flying to England.”

“Now,” she said, “it’s a puddle.”

Ms. Mohammed, 54, has served as the top United Nations diplomat responsible for corralling countries to commit to a spectacularly ambitious set of global development goals, meant to save the planet and its most vulnerable people. Known as the Sustainable Development Goals, or Agenda 2030 after the deadline for meeting them, or often just as the Global Goals, they were adopted on Friday at the opening of a three-day summit meeting in New York, which 154 heads of state and government were due to attend.

The goals apply to all countries, and they are fleshed out with 169 specific targets for action. The estimated price tag for achieving them is $3 trillion, and few people think it will be easy.

“The low-hanging fruit have almost all been picked,” said Jim Kim, the president of the World Bank.

Though the goals are not legally binding on any country, they gain moral force from having been adopted by consensus after three years of lengthy negotiations. The sticking points along the way included objections from Qatar, the Vatican and others over access to sexual and reproductive health services, and pushback from the United States and others over reducing inequality. There were, and still are, fierce disagreements over tax loopholes used by firms in poor countries, and on the need to root out corruption.

READ MORE...

One big piece of the process remains unfinished: deciding how best to measure whether the targets are being met, so citizens can hold their governments to account. For the sanitation goal, for example, the yardstick might be how many toilets a country has built, or how many homes are connected to a water supply.

“The one knot we haven’t tied is the accountability,” Ms. Mohammed said. The deadline for doing so is in March.

The new goals follow and expand on an earlier list, the Millennium Development Goals, adopted by the United Nations in 2000. Those were mainly intended for developing countries, and some of them have been met. The number of people living in dire poverty around the world has been cut in half, for instance, largely because of China’s rapid economic growth. Malaria deaths have been sharply reduced, but the world has missed its target of reducing child mortality by two-thirds.

Bill Gates, who has pressed world leaders to keep health at the center of the new goals, said in a telephone interview that each country would have to decide for itself which of the 17 new goals to make a priority. His charitable foundation will spend nearly $3 billion a year to help poor countries achieve the new goals, and the list gives him a template for talking to presidents and prime ministers about what remains to be done.


GATES

Mr. Gates said the previous goals “really got people to measure things better,” laying a foundation to pursue the new ones: “When I meet with heads of state, I can show them how they’re doing.”

A lot of effort has gone into publicizing the initiative, including enlisting young bloggers and projecting graphic icons for each goal on the facade of the United Nations headquarters this week. “You can’t fight for your rights if you don’t know what they are,” said the British filmmaker Richard Curtis, who has helped with the effort.

To their champions, including Ms. Mohammed, the 17 goals are aspirational.

To critics, they are unrealistic, even wasteful. “Having 169 priorities is the same as having none,” said Bjorn Lomborg, who is a visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School and runs the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a think tank based in Denmark. He tried to persuade the United Nations to pare the list of targets. “This laundry list of aspirations tries to please everyone, and yet will end up doing much less for the most vulnerable people,” Mr. Lomborg said.

Asked whether the list of 17 goals was too long, Mr. Gates offered a scriptural analogy: “When you read the Bible, you say they could have edited out a few pages,” he observed, but “the core messages are there.”

Still, 17 goals are a lot to keep in mind. Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, relies on a laminated cheat sheet that he keeps in his suit pocket.

Ms. Mohammed has always had a foot in several worlds. The child of a Nigerian father and an English mother, she attended primary school in Maiduguri, which is now in the heart of Boko Haram territory in Nigeria, and later studied in Britain; she speaks with a plummy English accent and favors Nigerian fashion, usually wearing a long skirt, a head wrap, and a shawl draped around her shoulders.

She advised the Nigerian government on how to meet the previous goals before taking her current post in 2012, and said that at the end of the year, when her term ends, she plans to return to Nigeria, where she has a home in the capital, Abuja.

Boko Haram violence has killed several of Ms. Mohammed’s friends and relatives, and she said she could not help noticing that the boatloads of desperate people who have tried to get to Europe in recent months include many fleeing the Sahel.

“These goals,” she said, “have got to come back and make a difference.”

A version of this article appears in print on September 26, 2015, on page A6 of the New York edition with the headline: After Years of Negotiations, U.N. Sets Development Goals to Guide All Countries . Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe


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