Jun 8, 2009, 7:50 AM
The forum was organised by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs with support from the UNDP.
In his opening speech, Saul Njie, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance, said the universal goal of eradicating extreme poverty continues to be a priority, but the number of people living in extreme poverty today makes us believe that many countries should work hard to be on track to meet the MDGs by 2015.
He quoted the UN secretary general as saying: “The achievement of the Millennium Development Goals has been uneven, and we face nothing less than a development emergency.
“While many developing countries are on track to achieving a few of the Goals, large disparities persist across and within countries.”
He added that in The Gambia, the performance under the leadership of President Jammeh has been better than the initial anticipations from the onset.
“The account of progress achieved by the country, however, shows rapid improvements in many indicators of the MDG goals and The Gambia is among the top 20 countries which registered great progress,” he said.
Mr Njie went further to say the MDGs provide benchmark against progress towards realization of Vision 2020 and the PAGE.
He said countries are obliged to monitor progress towards achieving the MGDs and The Gambia is committed to the attainment of the MDGS and has put in place a monitoring mechanism to measure progress.
He said that to date, several progress reports have been prepared and submitted to the United Nations in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010 which is the sixth report on the implementation statues of MDGS 2011.
The report therefore, presents an assessment of The Gambia’s progress towards achieving the MDGs set target by 2015, he said.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs is the apex body for national development planning, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes, inclusive of the tracking of progress with regard to the MDG goals.
The findings are to be presented at the forum, based at the national level or aggregate level.
This workshop addressed the level of progress with the MDGs and integrated approaches to addressing poverty and finding ways to identify and overcome the challenges accentuate and identifying strategies, policies and institutions with such aims.
For her part, Fanice James, Economic Adviser at the UNDP, expressed gratitude of the UN System to the Government of The Gambia for having participated in series of assessment of the MDGs in The Gambia.
She added that UNDP, especially has actually been of score keeper of the MDGs and has worked with the Government of The Gambia since 2003 when the assessment report started.
She also used the opportunity to advise the participants to validate the document properly as it is very important in our national development.