Ban: Millennium goals still achievable

Sept. 21, 2012 at 11:21 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- As aid levels decline, a global development partnership must grow stronger, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at U.N. headquarters in New York.

Ban urged a stronger partnership to move forward on development targets world leaders pledged to achieve by 2015, even as a U.N. report said significant gains risked slowing because of declining aid, the United Nations said in a release.

"The report paints a troubling picture," Ban said as he reviewed the 2012 MDG (Millennium Development Goals) Gap Task Force Report. "It is clear that we need a stronger global partnership to achieve the MDGs by the 2015 deadline."

The eight Millennium Development Goals, agreed to by world leaders in 2000, set specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction and "Global Partnership for Development."

Ban called on the international community not to "place the burden of fiscal austerity on the backs of the poor, either in your own countries or abroad."

Ban earlier this year reported progress in achieving the goals, and targets in key areas -- such as poverty, water, slums and parity between girls and boys in primary education -- have been met.

"But, on the global partnership, progress is weaker," he said Thursday. "Last year, official development assistance decline for the first time in many years."

Meeting the remaining targets by 2015 is possible but only if governments don't back away from commitments made in 2000 and international support remains adequate, the report said.

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