'MDG Countdown 2011' event, New York
With only four years to go until 2015 deadline, it is more important than ever to identify what policies and initiatives deliver the best results and can catalyse action at both national and global levels towards achievement of the MDGs. The UK remains committed to doing its part to help spur the international community to action.
On 21 September, 2011 the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) co-hosted an event during UN General Assembly Ministerial Week entitled “MDG Countdown 2011: Celebrating Successes and Innovations”. The event, co-hosted by UK Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, featured innovators from across the development community who shared their experiences of transformative programmes and policies that have delivered results against each of the Millennium Development Goals.
The event was extremely successful in raising awareness about the current progress of MDG achievement and reflected the commitment of a number of developing countries, with the support of their development partners, to bettering the lives of their citizens and giving renewed hope to the many millions of people still living in poverty. Recognising that many of the stories of innovation and achievement were focussed on empowerment of women and girls, Secretary of State Mitchell said “We know that investing in them reaps huge rewards. We want to see a generation of educated girls with greater economic opportunities and reduced risks of death and illness in pregnancy and childbirth. Educated women marry later, have fewer and healthier children and send those children to school. They are able to work and become the doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs who will propel their countries towards sustainable economic growth.”
To find out more about the event, including details on the individual case studies, and to read blog posts from the participants, visit the DFID website.
The UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals was held from 20-22 September 2010 at UN Headquarters in New York. The United Kingdom was represented at the Summit by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell.
The MDG Summit was an opportunity for the international community to reaffirm its commitment to the achievement of significant poverty reduction, critical improvements in infant, child and maternal health, vital boosts in education and gender equality, life saving reduction in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and progress towards global environmental sustainability. While significant gains have been made against many of the goals, much is left to be accomplished before the 2015 deadline.
In his speech to the General Assembly Deputy Prime Minister Clegg showcased UK leadership on international development issues by reiterating the UK's commitment to reaching 0.7% of GNI in overseas aid by 2013 and challenged others to live up to their individual commitments.
During the Summit, the UK focussed its efforts on securing a major push on the most off-track MDGs, particularly women's and children's health. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's "Every Woman, Every Child" event launched a Global Strategy aimed at saving the lives of more than 16 million women and children. At that event, the Deputy Prime Minister announced that the UK's contribution to this effort will lead to saving the lives of at least 50,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth and 250,000 newborns and will enable 10 million couples to access modern methods of family planning over the next five years. The event generated an unprecedented US $40 billion in resources for maternal and child health and convened a wide range of partners behind the Global Strategy. Significant commitments to action came from a number of developed and developing countries, as well as the private sector, charities, NGOs and international organisations.
The UK also helped put focus on combating Malaria by co-hosting a high profile side event which both raised awareness and generated significant new commitments from the international community. Deputy Prime Minister Clegg and International Development Secretary Mitchell announced our pledge of as much as £500 million per year by 2014 to help half the number of deaths caused by malaria in at least ten African countries by 2015.
The Summit ended with the formal adoption by World Leaders of the outcome document "Keeping the Promise: United to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals ". This document captures the will of governments to do what is necessary to achieve the MDGs and improve the lives of millions of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people.
The priority moving forward will be to ensure that the important commitments made at the Summit are realised. The UK will make every effort to ensure that the international community, including the UK, lives up to its promises and delivers significant progress for those who need it most.
To find out more about the UK’s policies and progress in achieving the MDGs, please visit the Department for International Development’s website .
What are the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?
In 2000, at the United Nations Millennium Summit, world leaders declared that they would spare no effort to achieve eight goals aimed at raising the level of development, health and prosperity of the globe by the year 2015.
These goals are:
1. Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achievement of universal primary education
3. Promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women
4. Reduction of child mortality globally
5. Improvement in maternal health globally
6. Accelerating the combat of HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
7. Ensuring environmental sustainability
8. Development of a global partnership for development
To find out more about the MDGs, please visit the UN website.
There has been significant progress on many MDG goals: the proportion of the world’s population living in poverty has fallen from a third to a quarter and millions more children are in school than a decade ago. But progress is uneven with wide variations within and between regions. It is clear that more needs to be done for the MDGs to be realised by 2015 so the September 2010 MDG Summit will be critical in setting out how the goals can be achieved.
Monitoring progress towards the Millennium Development Goals
The UN produces a progress report on the MDGs each year. Read the 2011 report.
The United Nations Development Programme’s 2010 report, Beyond the Midpoint , builds on MDG assessments undertaken in 30 countries to identify the factors that shape MDG progress, along with the constraints that have hampered MDG achievement in many countries.
The UN Gap Task Force
brings together more than 20 UN agencies, the IMF, World Bank, WTO and OECD to track progress on the development partnership called for in the eighth MDG. Read more about the MDG Gap Task Force and the 2010 report. The MDG Monitor shows how individual countries are progressing in their efforts to achieve the MDGs.
To find out more about the UK’s policies and progress in achieving the MDGs, please visit the Department for International Development’s website.