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Leaders At U.N. Adopt Outcome Document On MDGs

“World leaders meeting at United Nations Headquarters today agreed to take bolder action against extreme poverty, hunger and disease, and called for a summit to take place in 2015 to adopt the next set of anti-poverty goals, which will heavily focus on achieving sustainable development,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “During a special event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), countries adopted an outcome document [.pdf] which acknowledges the progress made since the eight global targets were set in 2000, while also committing to do more to tackle many remaining challenges and accelerate progress,” the news service writes (9/25). “The document — whose purpose is to ‘review progress made towards the achievement of the MDGs and chart the way forward’ — has taken into account the concerns and priorities of the people via the U.N. My World Survey to start crafting the next set of goals, balancing the three key elements of sustainable development — providing economic transformation and opportunity to lift people out of poverty, advancing social justice and protecting the environment — already included in the report of the U.N. High-Level Panel on Post-2015 presented to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last May,” Devex reports (Santamaria, 9/26).

U.N. General Assembly President John Ashe said, “This new agenda must not only tackle the unfinished business of the MDGs, it must go further — leading to a great overhaul in how we approach the planet and its people. On many levels, for many people, the new agenda’s composition will be a matter of survival,” according to the news service. At the event, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “presented to countries his report ‘A Life of Dignity for All,’ which outlines his vision for bold action to achieve the MDGs and for a new and responsive sustainable development framework that meets the needs of both people and planet,” the U.N. News Centre reports. Ban said, “It needs to be rights-based, with particular emphasis on women, young people and marginalized groups. And it must protect the planet’s resources, emphasize sustainable consumption and production and support action to address climate change,” according to the news service (9/25). At several General Assembly side events this week, some U.N., government, and non-governmental organization leaders questioned economic benchmarks used to measure poverty, saying the levels were too low or needed to be more “multidimensional” if the international community “is serious about ending extreme poverty,” The Guardian reports (Ford, 9/25). In a “Global Development Podcast,” The Guardian examines the MDGs and the post-2015 development agenda (Muir/Hill, 9/25).