There are two years remaining for countries to meet the 2015 targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Africa has been asked to start doing some reflections on the targets.
The MDGs are eight international development goals that were officially established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the UN Millennium Declaration.
The goals are Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; Achieving universal primary education; Promoting gender equality and empowering women; Reducing child mortality rates; Improving maternal health; Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; Ensuring environmental sustainability; and Developing a global partnership for development.
As the MDG target year 2015 draws near, Dr. Abdalla Hamdock, Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), says it is important for African nations to review progress made so far for the purposes of appreciating what remains to be done.
According to the ECA, its research has shown that the progress of the MDGs is “uneven across countries and across social sectors”.
“Indeed, while there is progress, there remains a lot to be done with regard to women’s empowerment, gender equality and maternal mortality,” Dr Hamdock said in his remarks at the official opening of the 2013 Joint Annual Meetings of the AU Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and the ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in Abidjan March 21, 2013.
“However, this is not for want of effort but rather the fact that our starting point was lower than that of many other parts of the world,” Dr Hamdock added.
He further stated “As we continue our efforts in this direction, it is also practical to realize that 2015 is less than two years away and we need to begin to reflect on the limitations of the MDG process, with a view to making necessary improvements.”
Accordingly, he urges that Africa must have a “strong voice and position on what a post-2015 development agenda that reflects its interests should look like.”
He indicated that the ECA, in partnership with the African Union, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa (UNDP/RBA) facilitated a series of regional and sub-regional consultations aimed at articulating an African common position on the post-2015 development agenda.
Importantly also, the ECA provided technical backstopping to the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel (HLP) on the post-2015 development agenda, Dr Hamdock added.
Organized by the ECA and the AU, the 2013 Meetings is themed “Industrialization for an Emerging Africa”.
The meeting officially began March 21, 2013. It will end March 26, 2013.
By Ekow Quandzie in Abidjan, Ivory Coast