Do everything possible to accelerate action on the MDGs: GA president

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With less than 850 days left to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target date, we must do everything possible to accelerate action and get the job done by 2015, President of the General Assembly Dr. John Ashe told a Special Event towards achieving the development goals.

He said that fulfilling existing commitments must be our foremost priority. At the same time, urgently implementing the global partnership for development is not only a moral obligation, but will also put us in the best possible starting point for agreeing on what comes next.

“At the global level, significant efforts have been made to reduce poverty and hunger. In spite of the enormous challenges and burdens imposed on developing countries by the global financial and economic crises, the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell by more than a half during the last two decades. The target of halving the percentage of people suffering from hunger is now within reach.”

General Assembly President Dr. John Ashe said "We can also proudly say that, despite challenges, the improved water target was met ahead of schedule and that expanded treatment and prevention have saved millions from HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths, as well as from deaths due to malaria and tuberculosis."

But he cautioned that while much has been done, much remains undone or to be done. Ambassador Ashe noted that progress has been uneven and the statistics alone are intolerable with more than 1.3 billion people still living in extreme poverty. Two-and-a-half billion people lack access to decent sanitation and one billion practice open defecation, which is a continued source of ill health.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’43″

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