Themes for the future

Small scale mango farm in Mali run and owned by women (UN Photo/UNDP)

Member states, stakeholders and observers met today at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to discuss the Multi-Year Programme of Work for the Annual Ministerial Reviews (AMRs) of the Economic and Social Affairs Council for the years 2012 to 2014. The representatives discussed the themes produced at an earlier meeting held in February on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 

The proposed themes for 2012 to 2014 were: “Promoting productive capacity, employment, and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at the all level for achieving the MDGs” for 2012; “Promoting the contribution of science, technology, innovation and culture in realizing the MDGs” for 2013 and “Accelerating the process of developing countries, in particular countries with special needs, vulnerabilities and development challenges, in meeting the MDGs and sustainable development gains for the future” for 2014.

The eight MDGs, agreed upon by all the world’s countries, range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education by the target date of 2015.  With three years remaining until 2015, representatives discussed the short timeframe until the target date and the need for clear guidance on further actions.  

The representative from Japan noted the importance of acceleration before promoting contribution.  As a result, Japan with support from Russia and the United States, suggested to switch the themes of 2013 and 2014.

For the theme of 2014, representatives stressed the need to focus on what will occur beyond 2015, rather than acceleration of progress of the MDGs.  Delegates from Russia and the United States agreed on the European Union (EU)’s alternative proposal for the theme of 2014, “addressing emerging challenges for meeting the MDGs and achieving development gains for the future beyond 2015.”

Delegates hope to come to an efficient consensus on the themes by the next AMR meeting.

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