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MDG Summit kicks off today

Sep 20, 2010, 12:31 PM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh

With just five years to the deadline for MDGs attainment, a High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations called the MDG Summit is set to begin today in New York at UN Headquarters.

The summit was conceived by UN member states as a significant opportunity to galvanize commitment, rally support and stimulate collective action in order to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

According to sources, the summit will focus on accelerating progress towards the achievement of all the MDGs by 2015, taking into account the progress made with regard to the internationally agreed development goals, through a comprehensive review. The meeting will result in the adoption of a concise and action-oriented outcome to be agreed by member states.

“The Millennium Development Goals can be achieved, but we need to act now”, is just one of the key messages of the “MDG Summit,” and several world leaders and civil society organizations are taking part in the crucial forum.

The three-day meeting, which brings together around 140 heads of state and government, as well as leaders from civil society organizations, foundations and the private sector, aims to review progress, identify gaps, and commit to a concrete action agenda to advance and attain the MDGs. Although the summit highlights that progress has been made in the last decade, this progress has been uneven among and within countries, nor has it been sustainable as a result of the various global crises - economic, financial, food - and the more and more visible effects of climate change.

Addressing a press conference ahead of the summit, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that while the gaps in achieving the MDGs are serious, “let us not be daunted by them. Despite setbacks, shortfalls and obstacles, we have the tools and the resources to achieve the goals by 2015.”

Investment in the goals is an investment in global economic growth, and recovery hinges on progress made in developing countries, Mr. Ban said.

It is generally clear that with just five years to go, some countries will not definitely attained all the goals of the MDGs. However it is hoped that some of them would be achieved.

The much talked about MDGs are: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve

universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; child health; maternal health; combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and to develop a global partnership for development.