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U.N. MDG Report Shows Uneven Progress, Calls For More Action To Meet Goals By 2015

“Millions of lives have been saved and improved as several Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been met or are within reach, but bolder action is needed in many areas, a U.N. report card said on Monday, with less than three years until the 2015 deadline,” The Guardian reports. “Though targets on halving the number of people living in extreme poverty and on access to clean drinking water have been met, progress on the eight MDGs, which have a number of sub-targets, has been uneven between regions and countries, and within countries, according to this year’s annual progress report,” the newspaper writes (Tran, 7/1). “U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday at the outset of a monthlong session of the organization’s main economic arm … that many nations are still struggling to make good on pledges made in 2000, such as cutting child mortality by two-thirds and maternal mortality by three-quarters,” the Associated Press/Washington Post notes, adding, “He said other areas with lagging progress include protections for forests and fish stocks, universal access to antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV, primary education, sanitation and foreign aid” (7/1).

“Noting that progress towards the [MDGs] had been uneven, the U.N. report urged the international community to smooth out the disparities between regions and countries, as well as between population groups within countries,” Agence France-Presse/News24 reports. “The report also warned that the world’s ability to reach its goals had been impacted by dwindling aid money, with global aid funds falling two percent from 2010 to 2011 and another four percent in 2012, to $126 billion,” the news agency writes. “The report called on the world to look beyond 2015 and begin crafting ‘an ambitious, yet realistic, agenda for the period after the MDG target date,'” AFP states (7/1). Last year, Ban “appointed a panel … to recommend a new development agenda after the goals expire in 2015,” the AP notes (7/1). Released last month, the panel’s report “proposed 12 development goals and 54 targets,” including goals aimed at “ending extreme poverty by 2030, [providing] universal access to food and water, promoting good governance, and boosting jobs and growth,” The Guardian states, adding, “The post-2015 report will be discussed at the U.N. general assembly in September,” and “[n]ext year, a separate group will report to the U.N. with its recommendations on sustainable goals” (7/1).