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The city of Sarajevo has vivid reminders of the horrors of war and the uncomfortable fact that violent conflict is not far away in time or space. The term "ethnic cleansing" was first used in this region. In a beautiful valley, surrounded by green hills, with many spires of minarets and churchtowers, many buildings are scarred by bullets, a main street is referred to as "sniper alley," and graves, red splashes marked on pavement and memorials keep memories of siege and suffering alive. Worse, ever present tensions that led to war still simmer. Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Jews share a history and a country but live largely apart with daily tensions even if largely subdued.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) framework, which is due to expire at the end of this year (2015), has had a …