Education, health care, honest government and jobs top priorities for people worldwide

10 Sep 2013

image UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark are joined by "Young Digital Advocates" at UN Headquarters in New York on 10 September.

New York -- The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented today a new report “A Million Voices: The World We Want”. The report summarizes the findings from public consultations and surveys that engaged more than 1.3 million people in all 193 UN Member States since August 2012 in an effort to identify priorities for the post-2015 development agenda that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“For the last year, the UN has been encouraging an unprecedented ‘global conversation’ on the world that people want,” said Ban Ki-moon. “The report that we launch today captures the voices of over one million people from all regions and backgrounds. We sought the voices of those that are usually unheard – particularly those people that are poor, excluded or marginalized.”

The consultations and surveys revealed that people expect governments and the international community to create conditions for inclusive social and economic development, in peace and security, and within planetary boundaries. They want world leaders to focus on:

• Completing the unfinished business of the MDGs by providing everyone in the world – universally – with access to water, food, better health care, and quality education;
• The management of natural resources, job creation, and security and freedom from violence;
• Addressing inequalities in terms of obstacles to access public services, participate in political processes or job opportunities.


Zooming in on single issues, the call for better education, improved health care services, honest and responsive governments, and jobs has dominated the discussions around the world.

“When governments meet in New York and agree on the next steps to define a new development agenda, they will find invaluable guidance in this report,” continued Ban Ki-moon, “these million voices tell us that we have a big and urgent job ahead: to agree on a new development agenda that carries the same simplicity and strength as the MDG framework – an agenda that serves both people and the planet. A new era demands a new vision. As we continue to support the negotiations, the UN system will continue to bring the voices of the people to the table.”

More than 300,000 people engaged in face-to-face meetings in 88 countries and a series of 11 consultations on issues such as food security, access to water, and governance. Online discussions on these issues also took place on the WorldWeWant2015 web platform, which brought together communities of experts. Almost one million people participated through the MY World 2015 options survey, using digital channels, SMS and extensive offline interactions through a network of over 700 civil society partners.

Most MY World votes came from India, Nigeria, Cameroon, Thailand, Philippines, Rwanda, USA, UK, Brazil and Indonesia. Half of all participants were under 30 years old.

Ban Ki-moon also launched today an online world map, which shows the results of the MY World survey. It allows people to separate out the results by countries, regions, gender, levels of education or age.

“This global conversation has revealed the appetite for participation that exists,” added Ban Ki-moon. “People want to be engaged in setting this new agenda. Equally importantly, they want to be part of putting it into action, and to hold us to the promises we make.”

The UN teams who organized the majority of these consultations put emphasis on engaging groups that are often excluded like women, youth, and people living with disabilities. The polling teams hiked to remote villages in Peru, Rwanda and other locations to give the opportunity to participate to communities without access to cell phones or the Internet.

“Feedback from the consultations suggests that Member States should agree on an agenda which both gets results and addresses challenges in an integrated way,” said Helen Clark, chair of the UN Development Group which unites 32 UN funds and programmes that implemented the project. “People understand that fragmented, one-issue-at-a-time approaches don’t work. They call for an agenda that will aim to improve the prospects of both people and the planet we all share. They want an agenda based on shared respect for human rights, equality, justice, and security. They also emphasized the need for a universal agenda which applies to all countries and all people.”

The findings of the report will be presented on 23 September 2013 to world leaders during the 68th UN General Assembly session in New York. The consultations and surveys will continue until the end of 2015 so that the opinions of the world’s people can feed into the intergovernmental process forming the post-2015 agenda that will build on the MDGs.

Link to the report: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/millionvoices

Press briefing web cast: http://webtv.un.org/

Hash tag: #amillionvoices


Contact Information

Stanislav Saling; UNDP, stanislav.saling@undp.org, Tel: +1 646 781 4077, +1 917 346 1955;
Kate Donovan, UNICEF, kdonovan@unicef.org, + 1 212 326 7452, + 1 917 378 2128
Sharon Grobeisen, UN Women, sharon.grobeisen@unwomen.org, Tel: +1 646 781 4753