The polio-free results happened this year, as did the drop below 10% for absolute poverty, and of course the Paris Agreement on climate change. But even taking your point, which is that all of these are positive trends going back a few decades, doesn’t that reinforce the message?

What I was trying to show is that this year, a number of large international development organisations released updated research showing that the world is becoming healthier, better educated, less poor and more connected than ever. All the reports mentioned here were released in the last 12 months.

And even if we are strict on the criteria that the positive change had to happen in the last 12 months alone… well, on even just one criteria (child mortality) more children were saved this year than people who were killed by all forms of war and violence.


From Melbourne and Cape Town, with love. Political economist and journalist, and co-founder of

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