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As MDGs Set To Expire In 2015, U.N. Panel To Advise On Approaches To Development; African Progress Panel Calls For 'Big Push' On Continent

“The presidents of Indonesia and Liberia — Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf — and the prime minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, are to co-chair a U.N. panel to advise on approaches to development after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015,” SciDev.Net reports. “Announcing the chairs to the U.N. General Assembly [on Wednesday], Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. secretary general, also said he would appoint an assistant secretary-general for post-2015 development planning,” the news service writes, adding, “The panel will consider the mixed success of the eight MDGs, which were set in 2000 and provide targets for reducing poverty and promoting social development through such areas as education, reduction of HIV infection rates and infant mortality” (Irwin, 5/12).

In related news, in a report entitled “Jobs, Justice and Equity,” the Africa Progress Panel, chaired by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, is calling on African governments and donor countries to “launch a ‘big push’ this year towards meeting” the MDGs, the Guardian notes. According to the news service, the high-level panel “said while the continent had made notable gains in the past decade, its record on poverty does not match its overall economic growth,” and the report “warned that growing inequality, marginalization and disenfranchisement are threatening Africa’s prospects and undermining the foundations of its recent success” (Tran, 5/11).