UN warns some MDG targets may be missed

9 Jul 14
There is a risk that Millennium Development Goals aimed at improving child and maternal mortality and expanding access to sanitation will be missed, the United Nations has warned.

By Vivienne Russell | 9 July 2014

There is a risk that Millennium Development Goals aimed at improving child and maternal mortality and expanding access to sanitation will be missed, the United Nations has warned.

With a little over a year to go to ensure the eight MDG targets are met, the UN this week issued a progress report, which showed that goals on poverty reduction, improving drinking water sources, improving the lives of slum dwellers and achieving gender parity in primary schools had already been met.

Progress was also being made on MDGs covering hunger, debt relief and malaria, tuberculosis and HIV treatment.

‘However, some MDG targets related to largely preventable problems with available solutions, such as reducing child and maternal mortality and increasing access to sanitation, are slipping away from achievement by 2015, despite major progress,’ the UN said.

‘The report calls on all stakeholders to focus and intensify efforts on the areas where advances have been too slow or not reached all.’

More reliable statistics were needed for monitoring development, the report said. It noted that the number of member states submitting progress reports on HIV/Aids increased from 102 in 2004 to 186 in 2012, helping galavanise global efforts. Funding for HIV programmes more than tripled in this period and 9.5 million people living with HIV were accessing antiretroviral treatment in 2012.

UN member states are currently considering a new set of development goals that can replace the MDGs in 2015. These are likely to be agreed in September next year.

UN secretary general Ban-Ki Moon said: ‘Our efforts to achieve the MDGs are critical to building a solid foundation for development beyond 2015. At the same time, we must aim for a strong successor framework to attend to unfinished business and address areas not covered by the eight MDGs.

‘Tackling growing inequality, in rich and poor countries alike, has become the defining challenges of our times. Our post-2015 objectives must be to leave no one behind.’

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