The Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015. Discussions are already starting on what might replace them as a global agreement to promote development and poverty reduction. This paper sets out the context for those discussions, and some of the issues that will need to be addressed if a new agreement is to be both effective and politically acceptable.
There are a number of options for a post-2015 agreement, of varying degrees of ambition. Identifying useful possibilities will involve both research and political iteration. While research is starting now, the political process may not get going in earnest until 2013. Until then, the development of thinking and options should be based on what has been learned from the MDGs, analysis of the current problems an agreement would be aiming to solve, experience from other global agreements, and a realistic assessment of likely political interests and processes.