UN warns that the shortfalls in meeting agreed actions on international cooperation are jeopardizing the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the 2010 MDG Gap Task Force Report launched today.
As World leaders prepare to meet from 20-22 September in New York to promote an agreed agenda to reach the MDGs by their target date of 2015, the task force’s report “The Global Partnership for Development at a Critical Juncture” finds serious gaps in the realization of commitments only five years away from the deadline for achieving the Goals.
“Tremendous progress has been made in strengthening (international) partnerships,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “But the agreed deadline of 2015 is fast approaching and there is still much to be done,” he added.
Despite the fact that aid flows are at an all-time high of $120 billion in 2009, among the most urgent areas identified in the report is a current shortfall of about $20 million in the annual level of aid, as agreed five years ago by the Group of 8 (G8). At their Gleneagles meeting, the G8 pledged that by 2010, they would increase Official Development Assistance (ODA) by $50 billion and double aid to Africa by $25 billion.
Though ODA is expected to rise to $126 billion in 2010, it will not be enough to meet the agreed target, meaning that the Gleneagles pledges are unlikely to be met by the end of this year, when they are to expire. As such, the report calls for a recommitment to the long-standing UN target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income for donor countries to be devoted to ODA.
DESA’s ASG Jomo Kwame Sundaram, one of the co-chairs of the MDG Gap Task Force, said that there was concern that the recent turn to Government spending cuts would further adversely affect aid commitments. However, Belgium and the United Kingdom, among others, appeared to be keeping their commitments — even increasing their ODA contributions — and there was no reason why other developed countries could not emulate them.
The Coordinator of the Task Force, Rob Vos, said the Summit should ensure that aid flows were particularly concentrated in those most in need, which could include countries in conflict, but this should not act to the detriment of others in need. He recommended better alignment of aid delivery with innovative financing to help relieve pressure on national budgets.
The report was prepared by the Secretary-General’s MDG Gap Task Force, which brings together more than 20 UN agencies, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). UNDP and the DESA act as lead agencies in coordinating the work of this unit.
The Task Force was created by the Secretary-General of the United Nations following the discussion of the Policy Committee on May 2007 to improve monitoring of the global commitments contained in the MDGs. The main purpose is to systematically track existing international commitments and their fulfilment at the international and country level in the areas of official development assistance, market access (trade), debt relief, access to essential medicines and new technologies.