WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Ban presents progress report on MDGs ahead of 2015 deadline

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented a new report to member states on Monday on the progress of efforts to reach eight anti-poverty goals identified by world leaders ahead of the 2015 deadline, which is less than 550 days away.

According to Ban, the report is the most up-to-date "global scorecard" on the efforts of world nations to reach the established targets, with many nations close to reaching the goals or having already met the targets.

In 2000, world leaders established eight Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), most of which aim to end poverty. Ban said the world has already reached some targets on improving access to clean water, raising the quality of life for those living in slums, achieving gender equality in primary schools and reducing poverty.

Ban said the MDGs have "helped unite, inspire and transform... and the combined action of governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector can make a difference."

Some goals related to preventable diseases and issues such as child and maternal mortality, however, are "slipping away," according to the report.

"We know that achievements have been uneven between goals, among and within regions and countries, and between population groups," Ban said. "For the most marginalized and vulnerable in society, social exclusion and discrimination are among the greatest obstacles to progress."

Ban said that unless the imbalances are targeted with more focused and elaborate interventions, some targets will not be met, including environmental sustainability, childbirth, maternal mortality and universal education.

"Our efforts to achieve the MDGs are critical to building a solid foundation for development beyond 2015," Ban said. "At the same time, we must aim for a strong successor framework to attend to unfinished business and address areas not covered by the eight MDGs."