Accelerated action needed with 1,000 days to go on Millennium Development Goals
Asia and Pacific lags behind in infant and maternal mortality, and access to water and sanitation
Bangkok — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its partners across Asia and the Pacific are today observing the milestone of 1,000 days to the end of 2015 – the target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
Starting today (5 April) – the actual milestone date – through to Friday 12 April, UN offices around the world are working with governments, civil society and international partners to mark “MDG Momentum: 1,000 Days of Action” in a variety of ways.
“The MDGs are the most successful global anti-poverty push in history,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “The Goals have helped set global and national priorities, mobilize action, and achieve remarkable results.”
The eight time-bound MDGs address poverty and hunger, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, combatting AIDS, malaria and other diseases, environmental sustainability and a global partnership for development.
In Madrid, Spain, the Secretary-General and young people from the Spanish and European Youth Councils observed the moment at a special event on 4 April, joined by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and other heads of UN agencies and programmes who were visiting for a senior-level UN meeting.
Since the MDGs were adopted by all UN Member States in 2000, governments, international organizations and civil society groups around the world have helped make tremendous progress to improve people’s lives.
The Asia and the Pacific region has rapidly achieved the MDG poverty and hunger targets and has done well on primary enrolment, and reducing HIV and TB prevalence. Over 500 million people in the region have been lifted out of poverty since 1990.
While the number of people living under a dollar a day has decreased significantly since 1990, Asia and the Pacific will still have over a billion people living under USD 2-a-day in 2015. Currently 675 million people live without electricity and 1.7 billion in this region continue to depend on solid fuel.
This region has done well in achieving some of the MDG, but it lags behind on infant mortality (MDG 4) and maternal mortality (MDG 5), as well as on access to water and sanitation (MDG 7).
To accelerate action, the Secretary-General called on the international community to: increase targeted investments in health, education, energy and sanitation; empower women and girls; focus on the most vulnerable people; keep up aid commitments; and re-energize efforts from governments to grassroots groups to make a difference.
The 1,000-day milestone is an opportunity to amplify awareness of MDG achievements and the commitment to continue global progress, including in the Asia and Pacific region.
“The more the world can achieve on the MDGs, the more it will be possible to build confidence and support for a bold and ambitious post-2015 development agenda,” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said.
“Forty-five countries are now using the MDG Acceleration Framework to identify pragmatic solutions to speed up progress on lagging MDGs, and to reduce disparities in progress to date,” Helen Clark said.
“Countries need to agree on steps to ensure that the failure to deliver on MDG 8 is not repeated, a point which gains importance in the context of emerging economies of Asia,” said Rathin Roy, Manager of the UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre in Bangkok. MDG 8 calls for a global partnership for development and is an overarching MDG that is central to the achievement of the other goals. It stresses the need to develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, fair-trading and financial system. It also urges that the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications, are made widely available.
Social media is playing a major role in observing the milestone and promoting MDG momentum and the need to rally the world to step up efforts to achieve the eight Goals as 2015 approaches.
The UN’s MDG gateway has a dedicated page promoting the various social media materials and initiatives being organized by a number of UN agencies and partners. The website is: www.un.org/millenniumgoals.
Note on the MDG:
Since they were adopted by all UN Member States in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) have helped to set global and national priorities and prompt action on the ground. They have raised awareness and shaped a broad vision that remains the overarching framework for development work across the world.
Enormous progress has been made towards achieving the eight time-bound MDGs – covering poverty and hunger, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, combatting HIV/AIDS and other diseases, environmental sustainability and a global partnership for development.
Regional Communications Adviser
UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre
Tel: +66 (0)81 918 1564