UN Chief says Renewed, stronger global partnership key in meeting MDGs fast

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UNITED Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says a renewed and stronger global partnership is necessary to accelerate the race to meeting internationally agreed development goals by 2015.

Mr Ban said this here when he launched an annual progress report on those global commitments.
“We are here today to help advance that effort for one and all,” Mr Ban was quoted as saying in a statement released by the UN Department of Public Information.

Introducing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Gap Task Force Report 2013, titled ‘The Global Partnership for Development: The Challenge We Face’,  Mr Ban said he is pleased to report progress, particularly on MDG 8, the global partnership for development.

The report shows that tariffs on exports from the developing world were down while exports from developing to developed countries were up, Mr Ban said, adding that a larger proportion of exports from least developed countries was being admitted tax-free. Access to mobile phone technology and the internet continued to expand rapidly, and some medicines, such as those to treat HIV/AIDS, were becoming more affordable.

“However, much more needs to be done,” he emphasised, pointing out that, for the first time in a long while, official development assistance had fallen for two consecutive years in 2012, while the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations remained at an impasse.

The report indicates that many more developing countries were in need of debt restructuring, essential medicines often remained unaffordable and hard to find, and access to new technologies was still limited in developing countries.

As regards to the MDGs and the post-2015 development agenda, Mr Ban said greater progress towards the current targets will fuel confidence and mobilise support for the new framework.

Mr Ban was flanked by Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs Shamshad Akhtar, Acting Director of the Department’s Development Policy and Analysis Division Pingfan Hong and Assistant Secretary General at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Olav Kjorven.

Ms. Akhtar said now is the time to redouble efforts towards meeting the MDGs despite austerity and the lingering effects of the global economic slowdown.

Noting that official development assistance had dropped four percent to US$126 billion in 2012, after falling two percent in 2011, she said it is possible to reverse the trend because several countries have increased their aid, among them Australia, Austria, Iceland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Korea and Switzerland.
She said the report made concrete recommendations in five areas: official development assistance, market access, debt sustainability, access to affordable essential medicines and access to new technologies. “All are attainable,” Ms Akhtar said, adding that there is no better way to make the transition to the post-2015 agenda than accomplishing unfinished tasks.

And Mr Kjorven acknowledged tremendous efforts by states towards meeting MDGs by 2015 despite scarce budgetary resources. “It was not by coincidence that a large number of targets have been achieved in a large number of countries,” he said.

Source: Daily Mail Zambia

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