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U.N. Secretary-General Launches Report Aimed At Meeting MDGs By 2015

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “warned on Tuesday that failure to meet” Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets by the 2015 deadline could result in “increased instability, violence, epidemic diseases and overpopulation,” Agence France-Presse/Mail & Guardian reports (3/17).

At a U.N. General Assembly meeting, Ban launched a report featuring “a new action plan aimed at getting governments, civil society actors, private businesses, philanthropy and the multilateral system to act ‘efficiently, effectively and collectively’” in an effort to reach the targets, the U.N. News Centre writes. “The new report highlights gaps, emerging challenges and opportunities, and lays out specific recommendations for action to boost progress towards the [MDGs] over the remaining five years,” according to the U.N. News Centre. Ban said he is “determined” to get the high-level MDG summit in September to create a “concrete, comprehensive, result-based plan.”

“Despite hard economic times, despite lagging progress on many fronts, we can still achieve the Millennium Development Goals by our target date of 2015,” he said (3/16). “‘The challenge is still immense,’ Ban said, noting that the financial and economic crisis, the food crisis, climate change and natural disasters have threatened to ‘reverse hard-won gains,’” Xinhua/People’s Daily Online reports. According to Ban the path toward reaching the targets “has been very uneven.” But he noted the unique appeal of the MDGs, according to the news service. “Rarely have so many individuals – citizens and CEOs, philanthropists and political leaders – found such common ground … We must realize the great potential of this global coalition,” he said (3/17).

In the report, “Ban also highlighted a number of countries that have combated extreme poverty and hunger, improved school enrolment and child health, expanded access to clean water, strengthened control of malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases, and provided increased access to HIV treatment – all themes included in the MDGs,” according to U.N. News Centre (3/16). 

In remarks on Tuesday, Ban “reminded developing nations of their obligations to improve governance, empower women, promote health, education and jobs. Rich countries for their part must provide more resources and technology, he added,” AFP/Mail & Guardian reports. Ban said, “Let me be clear: we need no new commitments here. We need only make good on the commitments that have long been in place” (3/17).