Focus on local development could aid Cambodia overall, says UN report

Achieving universal primary education by 2015 is Goal 2 of the MDGs

2 July 2010 – A national strategy for local development in Cambodia could bridge the rural-urban divide and bring the Southeast Asian country closer to achieving the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to a report released today by the United Nations.

Beyond the Midpoint: Achieving the MDGs and by the Local Development Outlook on Cambodia, produced by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), is the first publication of its kind to provide a comprehensive overview of local development trends in Cambodia.

It shows that decentralization would allow local governments to respond more appropriately to the needs of local communities.

“A strong consensus is emerging that a new policy approach is needed, one that builds on local knowledge to tailor public policy to specific circumstances,” UN Resident Coordinator Douglas Broderick told some 340 people who attended the launch of the report.

Such an approach would help guide Cambodian decision-makers “harness local potential and exploit opportunities for economic diversification and development,” he said at the gathering, which drew Government officials, representatives of academia and civil society, and development partners.

The report’s release comes two months ahead of the MDG Summit to be convened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September in New York.

With the 2015 deadline to achieve the MDGs looming, Mr. Ban has been urging world leaders to try to accelerate progress towards achieving the eight development goals, which include targets for slashing poverty, boosting school enrolment rates, improving maternal health and increasing access to clean water and decent sanitation.

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