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Birth Registration Key To Achieving MDGs

With “less than 1,000 days to go until the 2015 deadline for the world’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) …, [t]he international community is busy examining the progress we’ve made and all the work remaining if we are to realize the vision that was laid out 12 years ago,” Nigel Chapman, CEO of Plan International, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. But “[h]ow can we measure our progress towards the MDGs when not all children are counted?” he asks, noting, “There are six million stateless children in the world, according to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.” He states, “Birth registration is key to the achievement of many of the MDGs,” noting, “There are goals for reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, increasing access to primary education and promoting gender equality, to name but a few. Birth registration has implications for all of these.”

“The people most affected by a lack of a birth certificate are those usually on the fringes of society that governments and development organizations alike struggle to identify and support,” Chapman writes. “We need to see more from governments if we’re going to achieve Universal Birth Registration. More than 100 developing countries around the world don’t have adequate civil registration systems,” he continues. “This week, at the Global Summit on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Bangkok, global, regional and national actors have come together to map how we’re going to get to 2015 and beyond,” Chapman notes and concludes, “We strongly believe that birth registration should be at the forefront of post-MDG discussions and we urge all governments to take action” (4/16).