John Coonrod’s Year in Review: Top 10 Milestones of 2014

January 6, 2015

Our Executive Vice President, John Coonrod, gives his top 10 milestones of 2014 and what he sees coming in 2015.


Top 10 Milestones of 2014

Twenty-fourteen was an agonizing year for many – with Ebola as well as new and continuing violence in many parts of the world. And there were very few big flashy announcements in the global effort to end hunger and poverty.

Yet – away from the headlines – the quiet efforts of thousands of activists and political leaders achieved key milestones in creating a bold, Post-2015 agenda as the basis for a more just and sustainable future. Here are my top 10.


  1. SDGs: The intergovernmental Open Working Group, launched at the 2012 Rio+20 conference, submitted its final draft set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in July including elements key to THP missing from the MDGs. In September, the General Assembly adopted the draft as the basis for its 2015 negotiations. In his December synthesis report, the Secretary General cast these 17 goals in a framework of six interlocking elements.
  2. COP20: The decisions at the 2014 climate change conference in Lima “pave the way for the adoption of a universal and meaningful agreement in 2015” stated the UN Secretary-General, as he called for major power to submit plans well in advance of the Paris COP21. The US-China Joint Agreement was considered particularly important. Indigenous movements seized the opportunity to protest illegal exploitation of resources on indigenous lands, including the murders of activists.
  3. ICN2: The second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome, organized by WHO and FAO recognized the importance of multisectoral action to overcome not only stunting and wasting but the epidemic of obesity. The Pope tied the injustice of malnutrition to inaction on climate change.

Read the rest of the 2014 milestones. 


 Top 10 Prospects for 2015

This pivotal year, with the completion of the MDGs and launch of the SDGs, many of the key policy negotiations are already tightly scheduled. However, we can look for surprises in a number of key areas such as health, gender, local democracy and peace-building. At this point, the Top 10 prospects (with links) look list this.

  1. SDGs. The UN General Assembly begins formal negotiations to finalize the Sustainable Development Goals in January.
  2. Beijing+20: The 20th anniversary of the 1995 Beijing Women’s Conference is seen as a key year-long opportunity to emphasize both progress and gaps in fulfilling the Beijing Platform of Action. It will be the theme of the 2015 Commission on the Status of Women, at which The Hunger Project will present a session on progress of women in Bangladesh.
  3. COP21: The world is counting on the “final” climate change summit in Paris to deliver a definitive action plan.

Read the rest of the 2015 prospects.