More Millennium Development Goals achievable by 2015Listen /
Big strides have been made in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, and more targets are within reach by the 2015 target date, according to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
Launching the 2013 Millennium Development Goals report in Geneva at the start of the annual gathering of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Mr. Ban said the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has been reduced by half while over 2.1 billion people have gained access to improved sources of drinking water.
Mr. Ban called for accelerated progress to achieve the MDGs, but noted that declining donor support was slowing down the attainment of the goals especially in the poorest countries.
He said the MDGs have been the most successful global anti-poverty push in history and have proven that focused global development objectives can make a profound difference.
"We have made remarkable gains in the fight against malaria and tuberculosis. These achievements show that the combined actions of governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector can make a profound difference. However, the Report also outlines serious challenges. Environmental sustainability is under threat, with continuing loss of forests, species and fish stocks, and rapid growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Nineteen thousand children under age five die each day, most from preventable diseases. Women continue to be denied an equal opportunity in decision–making at all levels. We must intensify our efforts, particularly to tackle the disparities across regions and between different social groups. Greater progress towards the MDGs will fuel confidence and mobilize support for an ambitious post-2015 development agenda. And our post-2015 efforts should build on the work begun and the lessons learned through the MDGs."
Mr. Ban said global agenda beyond 2015 must focus on poverty eradication and sustainable development at its core.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.