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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Keeping the promise: a forward-looking review to promote an agreed action agenda to achieve the MDG by 2015 Report of the UN Secretary-General

This report, which is issued pursuant to General Assembly resolution 64/184, presents information on progress made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals through a comprehensive review of successes, best practices and lessons learned, obstacles and gaps, and challenges and opportunities, leading to concrete strategies for action. It consists of four main sections. The introduction examines the importance of the Millennium Declaration and how it drives the United Nations development agenda. The second section reviews progress on achieving the Millennium Development Goals, presenting both shortfalls and successes in the global effort and outlines emerging issues. The third section sums up lessons learned to shape new efforts for accelerating progress to meet the Goals and identifies key success factors. The fourth and final section lists specific recommendations for action. The report calls for a new pact to accelerate progress in achieving the Goals in the coming years among all stakeholders, in a commitment towards equitable and sustainable development for all.

I. Introduction

1. The adoption of the Millennium Declaration1 in 2000 by 189 States Members of the United Nations, 147 of which were represented by their Head of State, was a defining moment for global cooperation in the twenty-first century. The Declaration captured previously agreed goals on international development, and gave birth to a set of concrete and measurable development objectives known as the Millennium Development Goals. Spurred by the Declaration, leaders from both developed and developing countries committed to achieve these interwoven goals by 2015.

2. The Millennium Development Goals are the highest profile articulation of the internationally agreed development goals associated with the United Nations development agenda, representing the culmination of numerous important United Nations summits held during the previous decade, including summits on sustainable
development, education, children, food, women, population and social development. They are the world’s quantified, time-bound targets for addressing extreme poverty, hunger and disease, and for promoting gender equality, education and environmental sustainability. They are also an expression of basic human rights: the rights of everyone to good health, education and shelter. The eighth Goal, to build a global partnership for development, includes commitments in the areas of development
assistance, debt relief, trade and access to technologies.

3. During the past decade, the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals have led to unprecedented commitments and partnerships reaffirmed in successive summits and meetings, including the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development at Monterrey, Mexico, the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the 2005 World Summit in New York. During this same period, the public and their Governments have also had to contend with new unanticipated challenges. Some have been specific to countries or regions, while others have been global, such as the food and economic crises of the last three years.

4. Our challenge today is to agree on an action agenda to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. With five years to go to the target date of 2015, the prospect of falling short of achieving the Goals because of a lack of commitment is very real. This would be an unacceptable failure from both the moral and the practical standpoint. If we fail, the dangers in the world — instability, violence, epidemic diseases, environmental degradation, runaway population growth — will all be multiplied.

5. Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals remains feasible with adequate commitment, policies, resources and effort. The Millennium Declaration represents the most important collective promise ever made to the world’s most vulnerable people. This promise is not based on pity or charity, but on solidarity, justice and the recognition that we are increasingly dependent on one another for our shared prosperity and security.

6. The Millennium Development Goals provide a historic framework for focus and accountability. This fabric of accountability, however, is being tested and will need to be further strengthened to achieve the Goals by 2015. This is all the more important as the Goals are crucial stepping stones towards equitable and sustainable development for all. Meanwhile, the devastating impact of climate change looms large, and the international community is facing the challenge of working together to ensure the end of extreme poverty and sustainable development to save the planet and its people, especially the most vulnerable.

7. This report calls on all stakeholders, including national Governments, donor and other supportive Governments, the business community and civil society at large, to work in concert to ensure that the Millennium Development Goals are met by 2015. The high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly to review the implementation of the Goals in September 2010 will provide a unique opportunity to strengthen collective efforts and partnerships for the push to 2015. The present report assesses achievements and shortfalls thus far, and suggests an action agenda for the period from 2011 to 2015.

II. Progress so far

8. A number of countries have achieved major successes in combating extreme poverty and hunger, improving school enrolment and child health, expanding access to clean water and access to HIV treatment and controlling malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases. This has happened in some of the poorest countries, demonstrating that the Millennium Development Goals are indeed achievable with the right policies, adequate levels of investment, and international support. Considering their historical experience, some poor countries and even whole regions have made remarkable progress. For example, sub-Saharan Africa has made huge improvements in child health and in primary school enrolment over the past two decades. Between 1999 and 2004, sub-Saharan Africa achieved one of the largest ever reductions in deaths from measles worldwide.

9. Nevertheless, progress has been uneven and, without additional efforts, several of the Millennium Development Goals are likely to be missed in many countries. The challenges are most severe in the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, some small island developing States and countries that are vulnerable to natural hazards and recurring lapses into armed violence. Countries in or emerging from conflict are more likely to be poor and face greater constraints, because basic infrastructure, institutions and adequate human resources are often absent and lack of security hampers economic development.

10. Later this year, the Millennium Development Goals Report 2010 and MDG Gap Task Force report will assess progress on achieving the Goals. The latest update of the 60 official Millennium Development Goal indicators will be presented in an addendum to the present report, to be issued later this spring. The following section of the report assesses successes, obstacles and gaps in order to draw lessons on actions needed to achieve the Goals.

Read Detail Report
: http://social.un.org/index/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=kJ8pR8oW7vo%3d&tabid=337

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