This September will bring about one of the most significant opportunities yet to ensure the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The 2010 MDG Summit will see world leaders gather to examine what needs to be done to meet each of the eight MDGs.
Preparations have already begun on what organizers predict will be the biggest United Nations event of the year.
The meeting is the follow-up to the 2000 Millennium Summit (where the MDGs were agreed upon) and the 2005 World Summit (where the progress of the MDGs were reviewed). Director of DESA’s ECOSOC Support and Coordination Division Nikhil Seth called the event a “historic opportunity”.
“Five years before the 2015 deadline for the achievement of the MDGs, the Summit provides us with a critically-important occasion to address major and interconnected development challenges and to give the MDGs a final push,” Mr. Seth said.
He said that DESA, along with other United Nations bodies, were well into preparations for the Summit.
“[We] are reaching out to Member States and also working together with civil society and private sector representatives and philanthropic organizations to get ready for the Summit.”
Mr. Seth said he hoped the Summit will produce “a roadmap for the final five-year stretch” of the MDGs which will “trigger action at the country level to realize the goals”.
He said that since member states committed to the goals in the year 2000, “breakthroughs have been achieved in many countries”.
“Major successes in combating extreme poverty, improving school enrolment and child health, and expanding access to clean water, malaria control and AIDS treatment abound, even in the poorest countries, and demonstrate that the MDGs are indeed achievable.” However, he said that collectively, the global community was “falling short” of achieving the goals.
“This is not because the Goals are out of reach or because the target period agreed upon in 2000 was too short, but rather because we have yet to deliver on the financing, technical support, and build partnerships that are necessary to achieve the MDGs.”
“We were already off track with meeting the MDGs but with the combined effects of the global food, fuel and economic crises we are starting to see hard won gains being reversed.”
“As a consequence, at the current pace, several of the eight MDGs and associated targets are likely to be missed in many countries. Especially countries that are in or emerging from conflict or the aftermath of natural disasters, face great constraints. In these countries basic infrastructure, institutions and adequate human resources are often absent.”
He said the key to significant progress over the next few years was “scaled-up implementation of proven and innovative initiatives”.
“To build political momentum and promote innovative approaches, we must engage key stakeholders and partners and mobilize public opinion and action in all regions and countries in support of the MDGs.”