Inequality, not in the name of progress – key UN expert group looks beyond the Millennium Development Goals

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Michel Forst

"The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have remained silent regarding inequalities."

The warning came Friday from the largest body of independent experts in the United Nations Human Rights system during a high-level panel of the Human Rights Council.

And, they have urged the international community to place human rights, equality and non-discrimination, and sustainability at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda.

Michel Forst, speaking on behalf the group of 72 independent experts charged by the UN Human Rights Council to address specific country situations and thematic issues in all parts of the world, said "Rising inequalities have powerful and corrosive effects; they threaten human development and suggest a trajectory that is contrary to the realization of human rights" .

The expert did note that the implementation of the eight goals to fight poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women, which all UN member states agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015, has so far been successful in lifting millions of people out of poverty and reducing hunger and the number of preventable maternal and child deaths.

Mr. Forst said "The MDGs have harnessed the power of numbers to build consensus around critical global challenges by successfully consolidating governments' commitments".

But he stressed "We cannot and should not be satisfied with development goals that exclude millions of the most marginalized and vulnerable people".

According to the UN, over 900 million, particularly women and young people, still suffer from chronic hunger; and diarrhoea still kills more children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’34″

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