UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has called for more accelerated action from governments, international organisations and civil society groups on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), for sustainable development far beyond 2015.
MDGs was adopted by world leaders in the year 2000, as a 15-year roadmap to fight poverty, hunger and disease, protect the environment and expand education, basic health and women’s empowerment.
This was contained in his message on Monday in New York on 500-days to mark the conclusion of the MDGs.
He said it was so unfortunate that there are many fires raging around the world today, which include political turmoil, bloodshed, public health emergencies and human rights abuses.
Ban said there was flame of hope and encouraging progress in the global drive to improve the lives of the world’s poorest through the MDGs.
He said this week marks a milestone on the journey, as the world was now 500 days from the conclusion of the MDGs.
Ban noted that quietly yet cumulatively, against the predictions of cynics, the MDGs have helped unite, inspire and transform.
He said the global poverty has been cut to half.
“More girls are in school, more families have better access to improved water sources, more mothers are surviving child birth and more children are living healthier lives,’’he said.
“We are making huge inroads in fighting malaria, tuberculosis and other killer diseases, I have met many individuals who owe their survival to this campaign,’’he added.
Ban said in spite of this, millions are still struggling against extreme poverty and inequality.
“Too many communities have no proper sanitation, many families are still being left behind, and our world faces the clear and present danger of climate change,’’ he said.
Ban said now is the time for MDG momentum, as the ideas and inspiration of young people would be especially critical in this effort and their role must grow even more.
That is why I will mark the 500-day MDGs moment at UN headquarters with education advocate, Malala Yousafzai and 500 young people.
Ban said action in four areas can help fuel progress, and it includes making strategic investments in health, education, energy and sanitation, with a special focus on empowering women and girls, which boosts results across the board.
He said focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable countries, communities and social groups that have the toughest road to progress despite their best efforts.
Ban added that keeping financial promises has become imperative, even though this was a difficult budgetary times.
“But budgets should never be balanced on the backs of society’s weakest individuals,’’ he said.
He also advocated deepening cooperation among governments, civil society, the private sector and other networks around the world.
Ban said this would assist in making the MDGs the most successful global anti-poverty push in history. He said even though the challenges are daunting, yet the action would save lives, build a solid foundation for sustainable development far beyond 2015 and help lay the groundwork for lasting peace and human dignity.
“We have 500 days to accelerate MDG action, let’s make every day count,’’he said. (Xinhua/NAN)
Stay up to date, follow us on Twitter; @LeadershipNGA