7 July 2014 – There’s only one year left to the deadline for achieving the MDGs.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as “a pledge to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity, and free the world from extreme poverty.” These eight objectives were chosen by world leaders as part of a bold vision, and a pledge, for the future.
The time to do the final annual report on MDG progress before the end of the programme in 2015 has come. The Goals are indeed lofty, and to some may seem impossible to obtain, yet successes abound and many Development Goals have been met.
To begin with, extreme poverty in the world has been reduced by 50%. In terms of global health, efforts to combat malaria and tuberculosis are showing true results. Between 2000 and 2012 about 3 million lives threatened by malaria were saved and since 1995 intense efforts to combat tuberculosis in the world have saved over 22 million lives. From 1990 ton 2012, better and cleaner access to water has been ensured for 2.3 billion people on earth.
Gender equality, in education and politics, has been increasing as more women obtain education and join the ranks of their nations’ representatives. At the end of 2012 all the developing regions obtained, or were on the verge of obtaining, gender equality in primary education. In January 2014, 46 countries were able to boast of having women represent over 30% of their parliamentarians in at least one chamber of representatives.
Finally, public development aid has risen past the 134,8 billions of dollars in 2013, the highest level ever recorded after a previous two-year drop. But of course, not all is smooth sailing. Much has been accomplished, and the benefits are undeniable, but we must not forget that there is still much to be accomplished.
“Much has been accomplished through the concerted and focused efforts of all, saving and improving the lives of many people, but the agenda remains unfinished” reminds Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
In 2012, a quarter of all children under the age of five years have inadequate height for their age. This represents a significant decline since 1990 when 40 per cent of young children were stunted. However, it is unacceptable that 162 million young children are still suffering from chronic undernutrition, that maternal deaths still occur daily from preventable causes and that worldwide a billion people still practice open defecation. More goals left to be met in the future, as maternity, child wellness, environmental concerns and other issues still require immediate development action.
The UN Secretary-General expressed his faith in the MDG’s and the positive effects their pursuit brings, “The Millennium Development Goals have shown that we can make profound differences in people’s lives. The journey we started in the year 2000 has seen us build a solid foundation for further progress.”
UNRIC's related links:
UNRIC's library backgrounder on the Millenium Development Goals
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