Taking the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 as its focus, this research examines the world’s attempt to tackle poverty while constrained by global and national systems of governance that seem incapable of an adequate response. SDG1 requires actions by all countries to eradicate extreme poverty and to halve poverty in all its forms. Many high-income countries already claim to have eliminated extreme poverty but poverty in other forms exists in all countries, rich and poor. Therefore, unlike the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that preceded the SDGs from 2000 to 2015, all countries are expected to implement domestic policies to address poverty. In addition, bilateral and multilateral policy initiatives are required to assist in the eradication of extreme poverty wherever it is seen to occur. Therefore, the successful attainment of SDG1 requires a collective and arguably a coordinated global response.
While coordinated monitoring is in place, creating scope for international naming and shaming and for the trumpeting of national successes, systems of collective action are notable by their absence. Hence, failure is the most likely outcome in 2030 with the least developed countries, typically experiencing the highest levels of poverty, having fallen further behind.
The research will be published as a book by Agenda Publishing in late 2022.