The High-level Plenary Meeting of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)—or “MDG Summit”—took place at the United Nations headquarters in New York from 20-22 September 2010, under the theme “We can end poverty by 2015.” The main aim of the Summit was to accelerate progress on halving extreme poverty, and drastically reducing hunger, disease, maternal and child deaths and other ills, addressed in the MDGs targets. Preceding the UN General Assembly’s 65th session (beginning on Thursday, 23 September), the MDG Summit and related events were attended by heads of state and other dignitaries, as well as members of civil society, academia and the private sector.
The three-day event saw daily morning and afternoon plenary sessions held concurrently with round-table sessions on the following six themes: addressing the challenge of poverty, hunger and gender equality; meeting the goals of health and education; promoting sustainable development; addressing emerging issues and evolving approaches; addressing the special needs of the most vulnerable; and widening and strengthening partnerships. In addition, several dozen side events and other related partnership events took place. On Wednesday, a high-level event on biodiversity convened.
The main outcome of the Summit was a document entitled “Keeping the promise: united to achieve the Millennium Development Goals,¡¨ which calls for increased efforts at all levels to attain the MDGs, and includes an action agenda for achieving the goals by 2015. Additionally, the Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health, was launched and received over US$40 billion in pledges thus far. Major themes of the Summit included: intense interest in ensuring success at the upcoming 10th Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan; mainstreaming the MDGs into national and international policy; the interconnectedness of all MDGs; the need for improved accountability and delivery on commitments; and the critical importance of women in achieving the MDGs.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
At the Millennium Summit in September 2000, UN member states unanimously adopted the Millennium Declaration (A/RES/55/2).
At its 56th session in 2001, the Secretary-General presented his report entitled “Road map towards the implementation of the UN Millennium Declaration” (56/326). An annex of the report contains eight development goals with 18 targets and 48 indicators, commonly known as the MDGs. The first seven goals are focused on: eradicating poverty in all its forms; halving extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education and gender equity; reducing the mortality of children under five by two-thirds and maternal mortality by three-quarters; reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS; halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water; and ensuring environmental sustainability. The final goal outlines measures for building a global partnership for development. These goals, targets and indicators were developed following consultations held among members of the UN Secretariat and representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank in order to harmonize reporting on the development goals in the Millennium Declaration and other international development goals.
In resolution 56/95 on the “Follow-up to the Millennium Summit,” the UN General Assembly took note of the Secretary-General’s report and recommended that a “road map” be considered as a useful guide in implementing the Millennium Declaration by the UN system. It invited member states, as well as the Bretton Woods Institutions, the World Trade Organization and other interested parties to consider the “road map” when formulating plans for implementing goals related to the Declaration.
WORLD SUMMIT 2005: The first comprehensive review of the MDGs was conducted in 2005 at the World Summit, a high-level plenary session of the General Assembly, which reviewed progress and considered further efforts required to achieve the goals. In Outcome Document A/RES/60/1, world leaders underscored the need for the international community to strengthen development cooperation, including by mobilizing internal and external financial resources and facilitating approval of such programmes by the multilateral financial institutions, as well as implementing comprehensive national development strategies to achieve the internationally agreed development goals and objectives. In addition, over US$50 billion per year were promised by 2010 to fight poverty, and agreement was reached to provide immediate support for quick impact initiatives to support anti-malaria efforts, education, and healthcare.
HIGH-LEVEL MEETINGS ON AFRICA’S DEVELOPMENT NEEDS AND THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: Two High-Level meetings and over 50 partnership events took place on 22-25 September 2008, at UN Headquarters in New York, during the general debate of the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly. The High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Africa’s Development Needs took place on 22 September under the theme “Africa’s development needs: state of implementation of various commitments, challenges and the way forward,” and resulted in a UN General Assembly resolution with a political declaration on Africa’s development needs was adopted during the closing plenary.
On 25 September 2008, the UN Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly convened a High-Level Event on the MDGs, which evaluated progress towards achieving the goals at the halfway point towards the 2015 target. The event generated an estimated US$16 billion in funding, including over US$4.4 billion for education and approximately US$1.6 billion to enhance food security. Among the initiatives launched at the event were: a global campaign to reduce malaria deaths to near zero by 2015, with initial commitments of over US$3 billion; and a task force on maternal mortality, focused on innovative financing to strengthen health care systems and pay for health care workers. Significant new political and financial commitments were made on all other MDGs as well.
REPORT OF THE MEETING
The MDG Summit opened Monday morning, 20 September 2010, with thousands of participants streaming into dozens of size events and partnership events. Nearly 140 Heads of State and Government simultaneously attended day-long plenary sessions in the General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters and high-level roundtables on: health and education; and poverty, hunger, and gender equality. IISD-RS reported on eight side and partnership events, including on: African parliamentarians and MDGs; MDGs and conflict; local action on MDGs; domestic resource mobilization; and improving development partnerships. A more detailed summary of Monday’s sessions is available at: http://www.iisd.ca/ymb/mdg/summit2010/html/ymbvol153num7e.html
THE AFRICAN NETWORK OF PARLIAMENTARIANS ON MDGS: Tunji Ganiyu Olukolu, House of Representatives, Nigeria, reviewed the role of the Network of African Parliamentarians on MDGs in encouraging more accountable activity on the MDGs.
Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, UN Development Programme (UNDP), introduced the UNDP report “Parliamentary Engagement with the Millennium Development Goals,” which discusses improved: integration of the MDGs into legal processes; government transparency; budgetary practices; and citizen engagement.
Hajiya Amina Az-Zubair, Senior Special Assistant on MDGs to the President of Nigeria, described challenges in creating a partnership within the national legislature. Stating that MDG committees now exist in multiple levels of parliament, she praised their achievements, including the near eradication of polio and significant increases in healthcare provision.
ACHIEVING THE MDGS: ADDRESSING CONFLICT, FRAGILITY AND ARMED VIOLENCE: This event highlighted challenges posed by conflict, fragility and armed violence in achieving the MDGs, and discussed possibilities to address these challenges in the development framework and raise the required support.
José Ramos-Horta, President, Timor-Leste, lamented that there is very little reference to conflict, peace building and state building in discussions on MDGs, emphasizing their importance in meeting the MDGs, as well as to the overall development of countries affected by violence and conflicts.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia, underscored the need to focus particularly on those MDGs that countries are most likely to achieve by 2015.
Surin Pitsuwan, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, stressed that regional efforts strengthen and add value to development policy and goals. He emphasized the need to mainstream efforts with international support to, inter alia, reduce inequalities between nations and aid conflict prevention by improving access to justice.
LOCALIZING THE MDGS: This session was chaired by Inga Klevby, UN-HABITAT, and David Morrison, UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). Karma Tshiteem, Gross National Happiness Commission, Bhutan, noted instances where MDG targets and local priorities do not align, emphasizing the need for sufficient financial, human and technical resources. Leonardo Romeo, New York University (NYU), noted the importance of enabling conditions for local communities. Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, United States Agency for International Development, highlighted that under conditions where the division of responsibilities between the national government and local authorities is unclear, development policy implementation may be ineffective. Jerry Hultin, NYU, stressed that micro-finance is important for effective implementation of local plans.
Relinda Sosa, CONOMOVIDI, outlined her organization’s work in educating and assisting women in improving their living conditions. Macharia Kamau, Kenya, stressed the importance of proper infrastructure for governments to achieve MDG targets and deliver on promises for basic services.
DOMESTIC RESOURCE MOBILIZATION: Andris Piebalgs, European Commission, highlighted that the loss of capital from developing countries is on average seven times greater than development aid going into them. Donald Kaberuka, African Development Bank (AfDB), underscored that in addition to providing direct budgetary support, there is a need to empower countries to collect their own revenues.
Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), urged a focus on low simple taxes with flat tax rates and few exemptions.
Jean Ping, Chairman, African Union Commission Chairman, underscored the low levels of foreign direct investment, as well as the lack of trade, among African nations due to insufficient infrastructure. Helen Clark, Administrator of UNDP, stressed the need to expand fiscal space, i.e. relaxing debt stress, and emphasized that efficiency can be increased by improving the quality of public spending. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, World Bank, suggested providing incentives to formalize activities of informal sector actors, including through time-limited tax breaks.
Gay Mitchell, European Parliament, linked promoting enterprise development and ensuring social justice, to building tax systems. Highlighting the overall African trend of increasing tax revenues, Daniel Sowa Ablorh-Quarcoo, African Tax Administration Forum, stressed the need to incorporate all actors into the tax net and to build a “compliance culture” in Africa.
Stating that illicit financial flows represent the most significant economic challenge facing the world’s poor, which subsequently prevents the attainment of the MDGs, Raymond Baker, Global Financial Integrity, questioned why developed countries are not able to curtail intake of these funds. Krister Andersson, Business Europe, explained that investors often consider transparency and stability more important than the tax rate applied.
The ensuing discussion focused on: transparency initiatives around extractive industry taxation; the significant contrast between the mild tone expected from the MDG Summit outcome document on this issue, and the strong presentations heard; the role of civil society in holding governments to account on revenue spending; and the need for an African equivalent of the European Union to drive regional integration.
LAUNCHING OF TWO REPORTS ON AID IN AFRICA: Cheick Sidi Diarra, UN Office of the Special Advisor for Africa, presented the report “Africa’s Cooperation with New and Emerging Development Partners.” He said successes of South-South partnerships in China and India can be replicated in Africa. Diarra gave examples of positive development impacts from emerging partnerships in Africa, including: lower prices of consumer goods; provision of generic medicines; cheap antiretroviral drugs and insecticide-dipped mosquito nets; and enhanced infrastructure and telecommunications.
In the ensuing discussion, participants debated, inter alia: the importance of maintaining integrity of African culture and preventing debt from partnerships and aid; means of ensuring that Africans benefit equitably from partnerships; negotiating as a bloc rather than as individual states; addressing problems of poor governance and corruption; and triangular cooperation linking North-South to South-South cooperation.
Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa, introduced the second report, “2010 Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness in Africa.” He remarked that general progress has been made in improved governance and political conditions for investments, increased enrollment in primary schools and curbing infectious diseases.
Angel Gurría, OECD, emphasized that lack of donor commitments constrain efforts to achieve the MDGs, noting that some developed states use the financial crisis as an excuse to pull out of, or default on, aid commitments.
In the ensuing discussion, participants discussed, inter alia: the role of foreign banks in preventing illicit flows; investment in human capacity development; enabling investment through partnership with the African diaspora; and the need to empower women to achieve the MDGs.
THE MDGS: A DECADE OF ACHIEVEMENTS AND CHALLENGES AT THE REGIONAL LEVEL: This event brought together UN Regional Commissions to discuss regional challenges and successes in achieving the MDGs. UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro highlighted that many challenges span national borders, necessitating regional approaches. Noting that each region faces unique challenges, she said maternal and child mortality, hunger, and sanitation are common to them all.
Abdoulie Janneh, Economic Commission for Africa, said progress on increasing enrollment in primary education on the continent must not come at the expense of quality. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, said the region is making impressive gains in reducing poverty despite significant population growth, but that 14 Least Developed Countries are making slow, or no, progress on most MDG indicators.
Bader Omar Al Dafa, Executive Secretary, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, highlighted that although the region is likely to halve the number of people living on less than US$1.25 daily, this statistic masks the proportion of vulnerable people living just above this line. Antonio Prado, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, said inequality has decreased for the first time in his region’s history. Similar to the Asia-Pacific region, he noted that hunger remains a problem despite his region producing 40% more food than it consumes. Patrice Robineau, Economic Commission for Europe, noted that women in his region are over-represented in low-paying and vulnerable jobs.
Ministers from Spain, Niger, Thailand, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia and Kazakhstan added national perspectives, including that: gender equality is a means to achieving multiple MDGs; agricultural policy development is critical for poverty alleviation; the UN can facilitate intra- and inter-regional knowledge sharing; achieving the MDGs requires economic growth; and that poverty is multi-dimensional and dynamic in its causes and effects.
SMARTER PARTNERSHIPS FOR MDG ACHIEVEMENT (MDG 8 ON A GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT): This event included two panels and an interactive discussion.
Looking Back – High Effective Partnerships and their Contribution to the MDGs: Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, noted the importance of a human rights based approach to the MDGs for enabling, inter alia: equitable participation and representation of developing countries; empowerment of aid recipients to provide quality services; and donor accountability through monitoring of aid flows.
Talaat Abdel-Malek, Working Party on Aid Effectiveness, Egypt, discussed progress made by the OECD on: encouraging stronger partner representation and engagement; focusing on delivery of results; and provision of tools for cooperation and capacity development.
Francesco Pisano, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Applications Programme, showed how partnerships formed with international organizations, local governments, local field assistants and the private sector enabled rapid analysis of earthquake damage in Haiti to improve aid assistance through accurate localization of affected regions.
Emilia Pires, Minister of Finance, Timor Leste, reported that the “Fragile g7+” countries require support in peace and state building in order to achieve the MDGs. In the ensuing discussion, participants noted: the need for active civil societies to monitor government accountancy; the need to define the role of the private sector in tracking aid funds to delivery points; and the utility of aid information systems in transparency and accountability.
Looking Forward: High Potential New Partnerships for MDG Achievement: Stephen Groff, OECD, underlined the importance of partnerships, but reiterated the primary role for government.
Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, UNDP, discussed the role of information communication technology in achieving all the MDG targets, saying mobile phones are “a tool in the hands of billions of people.”
Leonard Ferrari, Naval Postgraduate School, noted the importance of partnerships between research institutions, the private sector and diplomatic agencies.
Angel Gurría, OECD, said a new paradigm for aid is necessary for smarter partnerships, and will be a cornerstone for achieving the MDGs by 2015.
During the discussion, participants debated gender inequality, the importance of political relationships, and the need for innovative platforms for discussion.
BIODIVERSITY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND ACHIEVING THE MDGS: CELEBRATING LOCAL SUCCESSES, MAKING GLOBAL COMMITMENTS: Policy Forum Event: Andrew Revkin, Reporter and Author, facilitated the session and highlighted the importance of “modifying the trajectory” of current development and instead fostering a sustainable relationship with the planet. Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity, stressed that climate change cannot be combated without taking account of biodiversity or desertification and said all approaches should be holistic. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, noted that, if climate change is left unchecked, it threatens to undermine thirty years of advances in development. Ángel Gurría, said OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) has mandated that development aid cannot be administered effectively without “mainstreaming green.”
Leonardo Rosario, Trowel Development Foundation, representing the Equator Prize 2010 winning communities, emphasized the qualitative effects of ecosystem restoration projects including increased income, increased awareness of the environment and contributions to lifestyle changes. Noting that replanting ecosystems will have numerous benefits including fuelwood, fisheries and water security, Pavan Sukhdev, Director, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, stressed this public wealth is essential for securing livelihoods. Erik Solheim, Minister of the Environment and International Development, Norway, underscored the importance of involving indigenous groups in policy and stressed the need to follow the concepts of free, prior and informed consent.
Evening Programme: At the evening reception, Ted Turner, Chairman of the United Nations Foundation and Gisele Bündchen, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, welcomed participants to the event noting the importance of local community initiatives in addressing biodiversity loss, ecosystem and climate change, which is important for attaining the MDG targets. Delivering the keynote address during the evening’s dinner event, Helen Clark, Administrator, UNDP, highlighted the importance of environmental goods and services, as well as the need for the active engagement of local communities. She urged delegates to work towards “virtuous” as opposed to “vicious cycles.” Timothy Wirth, President, United Nations Foundation, stressed the MDGs are not attainable without biodiversity and energy. He also announced the establishment of the Global Partnership for Community-Based Adaptation, which he said aims to develop templates for community-based programmes that can be scaled-up.
During the Equator Prize 2010 Ceremony, awards were given to 25 winning community initiatives, including five special recognition awards: for Africa, Association ADIDY Maitso, Madagascar; for Asia and the Pacific, Monks Community Forest, Cambodia; for Latin America and the Caribbean, Kapawi Ecotourism Complex, Ecuador; for Applied Indigenous Knowledge, Tsimane Mosetene Regional Council - Pilon Lajas, Bolivia; and for Ecosystem-Based Adaption to Climate Change, Local Federation of GIE of Niodior (FELOGIE), Senegal.
Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP, said leaders seeking examples of how to green their economies can look to the 2010 Equator Initiative projects as a range of practical blue-prints for sustainability. On behalf of the 25 community leaders gathered to receive the Equator Prize 2010, three representatives from Africa, Asia and Latin America, emphasized that drawing upon the indigenous community experience is essential for meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
On Tuesday, the MDG Summit continued with two plenary sessions and two high-level roundtables on promoting sustainable development and emerging MDG issues, as well as dozens of side and partnership events. IISD-RS was there to report on 12 of these events, including on infrastructure in Africa, corruption, climate vulnerability, LDCs, innovative financing, and the role of trade unions, the highlights of which are presented below. A more detailed summary of Tuesday’s sessions is available at: http://www.iisd.ca/ymb/mdg/summit2010/html/ymbvol153num8e.html
MDGS AND ANTI-CORRUPTION: Huguette Labelle, Transparency International, chaired a panel discussion on the costs of corruption. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, UNDP, challenged participants to contribute to anti-corruption activities. Stressing that, like poverty, corruption is multi-dimensional, Selim Jahan, UNDP, drew links between corruption and lack of access to essential services for the poor. Explaining that governments spend on average 15-20% of GDP on procurement, Richard Boucher, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD, said this was a key area in which to address corruption.
Tom Cardamone, Global Financial Integrity, said the most significant form of corruption is mispriced trade, or transfer mispricing, and said illicit flows are increasing by 18% annually. Highlighting that corruption is a “two-way street,” Sipho Moyo, Africa Director of One International, provided an example of a British company over-charging the Tanzanian Government for technology.
In the ensuing discussion, participants considered: the “grey zone” between pure corruption and weak institutions; the impact of late disbursements on corruption; the need to adequately remunerate the public service to avoid corruption; and the potential of the G20 working group on corruption.
Minar Pimple, UN Millennium Campaign, chaired a panel discussion on how fighting corruption benefits the MDGs. John Rwangombwa, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Rwanda, discussed the need to institute adequate legal frameworks, install capable judiciaries and establish clear plans for addressing corruption and the development of strong monitoring frameworks.
Providing examples of non-transparent donor activities, Gregory Adams, Director, Oxfam America, stressed that development success is built on the idea of effective governments and active citizens. Galina Mikhlin-Oliver, World Bank, explained that policies are important, but systems and institutions responsible for implementation are equally important. Emmanuel Nnadozie, UN Economic Commission for Africa, discussed the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and the African Peer Review Mechanism.
In the ensuing discussion, participants considered the need for empowering citizens to effectively participate in the accountability process, and role donor conditionalities have on exacerbating corruption.
HIGH-LEVEL SIDE EVENT ON LDCS AND MDGS: Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Bangladesh chaired the session, which included statements by a dozen high-level speakers.
Joseph Deiss, UN General Assembly President, underlined that supporting least developed countries (LDCs) is a necessary to successfully achieve the MDGs.
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, reported that current global crises strain LDCs, and praised LDCs for managing, with limited safety nets, the added challenge that more than half of their populations live below the poverty line. In closing, he said investing in LDCs is a test of global solidarity and that doing so can help promote global economic recovery.
Bhim Bahadur Rawal, Minister for Home Affairs, Nepal, on behalf of the prime minister of Nepal, called for bridging the gap between commitments and action.
Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey, announced that Istanbul would host the 4th UN Conference on LDCs in 2011, to which Yves Leterme, Prime Minister of Belgium, pledged 400,000 Euros on behalf of Belgium. Leterme emphasized his hope that the conference would focus on aid allocation effectiveness, and said Belgium strongly advocates an international currency transaction levy, which at five cents per US$1,000 could raise US$20-35 billion per year for LDCs.
Arjun Karki, President, LDC Watch, lamented that many financial commitments to LDCs have not been honored and called for increased development aid effectiveness and the establishment of member state LDC campaigns.
Thongloun Sisoulith, Deputy Prime Minister, People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, said MDG targets should be an integral part of the 4th UN LDC Conference outcome.
Kevin Rudd, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia, calling LDCs a “quarter of our UN family,” announced that Australia will double its overseas development assistance for 2012-2015.
SCALING UP AFRICA’S INFRASTRUCTURE TO REACH THE MDGS: Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the MDGs, moderated this event.
Elham Ibrahim, African Union (AU) Commissioner on Infrastructure and Energy, elaborated on the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa, which develops coherent, integrated policies for infrastructure expansion on the continent. Abdoulaye Wade, President of Senegal, lamented the lack of discussion in international fora on infrastructure for development. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Vice President for Africa, World Bank, stressed that without infrastructure, many efforts to decrease poverty will not have lasting effects, highlighting that regional integration can help bridge the infrastructure deficit. Donald Kaberuka, African Development Bank, stressed the need for innovative financing for infrastructure.
Gu Yang, China Development Bank, said that the large-scale infrastructure projects China wishes to invest in can only be achieved with political commitments to regional integration. Sindiso Ngwenya, Secretary General, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, noted that work is underway to encourage capacity in research and development in the communications sector.
Participants also discussed: increasing “bankable projects” to ensure private sector involvement in African infrastructure; establishing and refining regulatory and tariff frameworks to benefit private investors and impoverished consumers; and the importance of power sector reform to encourage private sector investment.
CLIMATE VULNERABILITY AND ITS IMPACT ON MDGS: Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, chaired the session. Helen Clark, UNDP, stressed the need to minimize climate vulnerability through investments in disaster risk reduction.
Bhim Bahadur Rawal, Minister for Home Affairs, Nepal, called for transparency and predictability in resource allocation. Outlining his country’s energy intensity commitments, Jairam Ramesh, Indian Minister of Environment and Forests, underscored that these commitments were not contingent upon international finance and technology support.
W.D.J. Seneviratne, Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs, Sri Lanka, said his government was developing national climate change policy and adaptation strategies. Daw Penjo, Foreign Secretary, Bhutan, announced that in 2011 his country will host the Eastern Himalaya Summit on Climate Change.
Patricia Espinosa, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mexico, and chair of UNFCCC COP 16, to be held in Cancún, Mexíco in December 2010, urged governments to advance the climate negotiations in order to agree to an architecture for a post-Kyoto agreement at COP 16. Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, UK, announced an advocacy fund to support low-income country participation in international negotiations.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNIONS - DECENT WORK AND THE MDGS: KEEPING THE PROMISE: Jane Stewart, Director, International Labour Organization, commended language in the MDG Summit draft outcome document stating that increased social protection and forward-looking macroeconomic policies to increase productive employment can help achieve the MDGs. Sharan Burrow, Secretary General, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), emphasized the ITUC’s commitment to civil society partnerships.
Mira Said, Global Network, lamented that most official development assistance for social security programmes in Palestine provide aid rather than sustainable economic programmes. Georgina Opoku Amankwah, ITUC—Africa Women’s Committee, described how Ghana’s Trade Union Congress amended its constitution to allow affiliation of informal-sector workers to increase access to social security systems. Yonnec Polet, Global Progressive Forum, stressed the role of the Global Job Pact in promoting growth of quality jobs.
Participants discussed, inter alia, decent work in relation to ageing, migration, the green economy and community involvement.
MDG ACHIEVEMENT FUND: Helen Clark, UNDP, declared that social justice is an important measure of MDG success. She lauded the MDG Achievement Fund for its project in Ethiopia, “Leave No Woman Behind,” focused on women’s adult education and reproductive health.
Soraya Rodriguez, Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Spain, remarked that hunger and poverty are not fundamentally due to a lack of resources, but a deprivation of human rights. Presenting on the challenge of addressing “intersecting inequalities” through MDGs, Naila Kabeer, Institute of Development Studies, remarked that despite the MDGs being based on values such as freedom, equality, solidarity and tolerance, social exclusion undermines the realization of their targets.
During panel discussions, María Fernanda Espinosa, Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations, discussed how Ecuador’s Ministry of Heritage is resolving historically social inequalities. Jagadish Chandra Pokharel, National Planning Commission, Nepal, reported that Nepal has addressed social injustices through employment generation, investment for growth, inflation containment and improving transparency in governance. Rebeca Grynspan, UNDP, stressed that the next five years of MDGs should focus on breaking barriers of inequality through the promotion of social cohesion and provision of information for political advocacy. Charles Abugre, UN Millennium Campaign, noted that multinational corporations worsen poverty among the poorest people through profit-making mechanisms that do not relate to productive investment.
Ashok Bharti, National Conference of Dalit Organisations, India, challenged UN agencies to take up the agenda on social exclusion by creating resources, increasing its representation in MDG efforts and providing leadership capacity.
In ensuing discussions, participants noted the exclusion of people living with disabilities and persons infected by HIV/AIDS in MDG initiatives, and debated how to ensure that other already-marginalized groups are not ignored by MDG activities.
HIGH LEVEL SIDE EVENT ON INNOVATIVE FINANCING FOR THE MDGS: This side event was hosted by select members of the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development, an international partnership of 60 member countries, international organizations and civil society representatives.
Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Jordan, introduced the report of the Writing Committee to the Leading Group’s Task Force on Innovative Financing for Education “2+3=8: Innovating in Financing Education.” She said committing innovative financing to achieving MDGs 2 and 3 on education and gender equality can help to attain all eight MDGs.
A panel provided examples of how innovative financing and innovative delivery thereof have funded health initiatives in developing countries. Successes highlighted included the solidarity tax on airline tickets in participating countries that have enabled UNITAID to raise US$1.5 billion since 2007.
A second panel introduced the Report of the Committee of Experts to the Leading Group’s Task Force on International Financial Transactions and Development “Globalizing Solidarity: The Case for Financial Levies,” which finds that a global currency transaction tax is the most appropriate financing mechanism for global public goods.
A final panel, which highlighted new sectors that require innovative financing, emphasized the urgency of investing in education. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UN Food and Agriculture Organization were announced as new members of the Leading Group.
FOCUS GROUP ON MDGS IN ASIA: The session focused on the experiences of MDG attainment in Asia and the role of partnerships in achieving the MDG targets. Helen Clark, UNDP, stressed the importance of supporting country-led development strategies and focusing on inclusive models of economic growth. Haruhiko Kuroda, President, Asian Development Bank, highlighted the challenges that disasters and floods impose in attaining the MDGs. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary, ESCAP, noted special needs of LDCs and the role of South-South cooperation in achieving the MDGs.
Nila Moeloek, Special Envoy to the President of Indonesia for MDGs, reiterated the importance of regional efforts and expertise in supporting capacity building relevant to the MDGs.
Shin Kak-soo, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of Korea, highlighted his country’s commitment to increase its aid volume to 0.25% of gross national income by 2015.
Kevin Rudd, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australia, described a partnership with Indonesia to rebuild schools for over 300,000 students.
Cao Viet Sinh, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Viet Nam, attributed Viet Nam’s MDG successes to policy changes that mainstreamed the Goals into national initiatives and to increasing bilateral and multilateral partnerships.
ENDING ENERGY POVERTY: TOWARDS UNIVERSAL ACCESS: Timothy Wirth, United Nations Foundation, moderated the event. Kandeh Yumkella, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), stressed that energy access is imperative to combating poverty, and highlighted the Secretary-General’s Advisory Group On Energy And Climate Change’s goal for universal energy access by 2030. UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, stressed that the real barrier to universal access is the lack of broad-based political commitment to attaining it. Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, noted that many developing countries could take advantage of greenfield projects for increasing energy generation without concomitant emissions.
Abdoulaye Wade, President of Senegal, said opportunities offered by solar energy should be seized, especially with current European interest in buying African solar power. Heinz Fischer, President of Austria, stressed that attaining universal energy access would ease political tensions over food security, poverty and climate change. Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director, International Energy Agency, called for energy issues to be included in the MDGs or their successors.
Noting that energy access for the poor is imperative, Olav Kjørven, UNDP, highlighted the establishment of the energy access facility to mainstream energy access considerations into development plans. Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP, noted that despite promises, partners offering financial assistance have not come forward. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, underscored the importance of social and cultural dimensions when designing and implementing electrification programmes. Gro Harlem Brundtland, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, called for practical solutions to achieving universal energy access.
Mary Robinson, Founder, Realizing Rights: the Ethical Globalization Initiative, stressed the importance of involving women in energy access initiatives.
On Wednesday, participants convened for the final day of the MDG Summit. Participants knuckled down to address the high-level panel of biodiversity, and attend the events launching the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, and Inclusive Growth and Employment, all of which garnered significant attention. Numerous side events convened in the UN buildings and around New York, of which IISD-RS attended 11, including on: AIDS and the MDGs; turning evidence into practice; water and sanitation; and accountability and transparency.
BRIDGING THE MALARIA GAP: SAVING CHILDREN – SUPPORTING WOMEN: Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary, African Leaders Malaria Alliance, emphasized that the time to act on malaria is now. Mizengo Pinda, Prime Minister, Tanzania, lamented the lack of media focus on malaria. Andrew Mitchell, International Development Secretary, UK, stressed that household income and national GDP is severely affected by the disease. Ray Chambers, UN Special Envoy for Malaria, noted the virtuous cycle created by actions so far, including decreased mortality, increased work force, and increased school enrollment rates.
Margaret Chan, WHO, noted that malaria is the “dead weight” holding Africa back. Bill Gates, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, highlighted the need for scientists to continue to develop new diagnostics and insecticides. Robert Zoellick, World Bank, stressed the need to ensure that treatments reach vulnerable populations. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Health, Ethiopia, said Ethiopia has started to produce DDT and bed nets locally. Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director, The Global Fund, said although demand for funding has decreased, there are proportionately more proposals for malaria programmes being submitted.
Tim Ziemer, President’s Malaria Initiative, US, stated that the Initiative places special emphasis on women and young children since they bear the burden of the disease. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia, said her country has embarked on a door-to-door campaign to ensure universal coverage of at least three bed nets per household. Richard Sezibera, Minister for Health, Rwanda, said the integrated government strategy for malaria has significantly reduced infant mortality.
Philippe Douste-Blazy, Chairman, UNITAID, said 30% of its funding is earmarked for malaria. Rajat Gupta, Chairman, International Chamber of Commerce, stated that combating malaria will increase private capital flows in the coming years. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, Minister of Information and Communications, Sierra Leone, said the goal to remove taxes and tariffs on malaria treatments has yet to be attained. Yvonne Chaka Chaka, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, appealed to everyone to “walk the talk” on malaria.
1.8 BILLION STRONG: YOUNG PEOPLE DRIVING THE MDGS: Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director, UN Population Fund, stressed the need to incorporate youth in all sectoral planning and in national poverty reduction strategies.
Samuel Kissi, Curious Minds, said studies show that development efforts are more far-reaching, sustainable and effective when youth are involved. He highlighted training programmes to enable youth participation in Ghana’s poverty reduction strategy.
Gill Greer, Director-General, International Planned Parenthood Federation, informed participants that 11% of world births are from girls aged 15-19. She called for fact-based reproductive and sexual health programming.
Michael Cashman, European Parliament, argued that organized religion in politics is a major barrier to adopting legislation around reproductive and sexual health.
Priscilla Vera Hernández, Director-General, Mexican Institute of Youth, expressed hope that the UN General Assembly would adopt recommendations from the Guanajuato Declaration that emerged from the 2010 World Youth Conference.
Participants stressed the importance of addressing human rights of youth, including marginalized youth.
SAVING 16 MILLION LIVES: THE GLOBAL STRATEGY FOR WOMEN’S AND CHILDREN’S HEALTH: This side event preceded the official launch at the UN General Assembly of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, which aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015.
Tamara Kreinin, UN Foundation, announced that the UN Foundation and partners are committing US$400 million to make motherhood safer, educate and empower adolescent girls and protect children from preventable diseases. Purnima Mane, UN Foundation, said the UN Foundation has coordinated processes to ensure that governments understand what the Strategy is and how to implement it. She highlighted that 26 developing countries would make concrete commitments related to the Strategy at the UN General Assembly.
Babalwa Mbono, mothers2mothers, South Africa, described how this organization, which provides education and support to pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV/AIDS, enabled her to raise her children HIV-free.
Dorothy Shaw, University of British Columbia, Canada, elaborated key causes of mother and child death and emphasized that family planning repays on every dollar spent. Abhay Bang, Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health, described how his organization reduced infant mortality rates in communities where it provided training for local women to provide home-based neonatal care education services.
Noting the existence of 5 billion mobile phones globally, Patricia Mechael, Columbia University, offered examples of how mobile technology can help to achieve health-related MDGs, including the monitoring of chronic diseases. Sue Mbaya, World Vision International, stressed that communities must be at the center of health planning and delivery. Elizabeth Mason, World Health Organization, described the Countdown to 2015 Initiative, which tracks coverage levels for health interventions proven to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality.
Participants then watched live coverage of the official launch of the Strategy, hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Governments, philanthropists and private groups pledged US$40 billion dollars to support the Strategy.
THE FORGOTTEN BILLION: MDG ACHIEVEMENT IN THE DRYLANDS: Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), noted that five of the 10 countries that rank lowest on the human development index are dryland countries and that “poor soils result in poor people.”
Olav Kjørven, UNDP, said the dryland agenda has traditionally targeted specialized issues rather than linking to the broader development agenda, but that drylands must be addressed holistically rather than by sector or issue. He then announced a forthcoming report, “Achievement of MDGs in the Drylands,” and described UNDP pilot projects identifying policy bottlenecks and mainstreaming programmes, such as building mobile schools in Kenya.
Nicholas Middleton, Oxford University Centre for the Environment, reported that drylands are home to two billion people dependent on highly variable resources. He said it is impossible to halve world poverty without addressing these “forgotten billions.” He added that adult female literacy is a particularly intriguing challenge because data show that it declines with increasing levels of aridity. He noted that policy successes include: improved pastoral tenure rights; expanded seed varieties; and index-based livestock insurance protection. He called for drylands to be mainstreamed into global development.
In the discussions, participants debated local, national and global dryland policy needs, particularly highlighting potential areas of work for UNDP to include in their upcoming report.
On local and national policy, participants emphasized: integrating the MDGs into a sustainable development framework; the relevance of land rights and governance; the underlying security issues related to drylands; and the role of gender. They called for improved salinity and solar technology, and increases in agricultural research. One participant highlighted policy concerns with the cost and sustainability of highly populated and artificially irrigated arid regions, such as in the southwest United States.
On global policy, participants suggested: establishing dryland ministries to improve institutional capacity and budget allocations for drylands; forming an alliance on food security; addressing migration due to water scarcity; and improving integration of the UNCCD with the CBD and UNFCCC.
INVESTMENT PROMOTION: PAVING THE WAY TOWARDS POVERTY ERADICATION: Heraldo Muñoz, UNDP, said foreign direct investment (FDI) and corporate social responsibility contribute to employment and poverty reduction (MDG1). Samuel Santos, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nicaragua, said that Nicaraguan renewable energy production has been revolutionized due to FDI.
Javier Chamorro Rubiales, PRONicaragua and World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, said Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) attract investment flows for areas with high poverty, high emigration and low FDI. IPAs exist in every Central American country he said, and have yielded USD$189 in FDI for every $1 spent on IPAs in Nicaragua. Damien Shiels, World Bank, said IPAs resulted in USD$1.95 billion and 95,000 job increases in the Central American region.
Paul Oquist, Minister, United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration, said FDI increases employment, which drives progress on MDGs. He recommended collaborative opportunities, for example a regional rail network, to stimulate foreign investment.
In contrast to popular development discourse, Amir Dossal, United Nations Office for Partnerships, said FDI should be prioritized over increases in investment in HIV/AIDS prevention or child health. Additionally, he recommended bringing this concept to the attention of the General Assembly and adopting these priorities for Africa.
Luis Felipe López Calva, UNDP, said it is vital that: IPAs collaborate; policies are coordinated; and links to academic institutions are created to enhance skills, otherwise IPAs create an “island of investment in the economy.”
Álvaro Baltodano, Nicaragua Presidential Delegate for Investment, emphasized the need for coordination between investment agencies.
HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON BIODIVERSITY: Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, co-chaired the session, with Danilo Türk, President of Slovenia.
Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Bangladesh, highlighted the need to send a clear message to the upcoming CBD meeting. David Choquehuanca Céspedes, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bolivia, promoted establishing an international environmental and climate court.
Jim Prentice, Minister of Environment, Canada, outlined Canada’s focus on strong and effective enforcement of environmental laws. Stefania Prestigiacomo, Minister of Environment, Italy, said full reform of international environmental governance may be required. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forests, India, Veysel Eroğlu, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Turkey, and Teresa Ribera, Secretary of State for Climate Change, Spain, urged completion of the protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS). Also on ABS, Homero Bibiloni, Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development, Argentina, underscored the need to balance proposals and reality.
Sakihito Ozawa, Minister of the Environment, Japan, said his country would propose the Satoyama Initiative, a social-ecological production landscape initiative aiming to realize societies where both biodiversity and human well-being are maintained, at CBD COP 10 in Nagoya, Japan. Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK, highlighted that the UK will meet the 0.7% of GDP ODA by 2013. Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Mexico, urged countries to identify synergies between climate change and biodiversity at UNFCCC COP 16 in Cancún.
Maanee Lee, Minister of Environment, Republic of Korea, said strengthening the science-policy interface provides the opportunity to advance green growth. Phandu Skelemani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Botswana, said efforts to implement his country’s biodiversity action plan have been limited by low technical capacity and lack of stable financing. Åsa-Britt Karlsson, State Secretary, Ministry of the Environment, Sweden, stressed the need to facilitate engagement of the private sector.
Humberto Rosa, Secretary of State for the Environment, Portugal, highlighted the need for further marine protected areas and no-take zones. Joke Schauvliege, Minister for Environment, Nature and Culture, Belgium, said the high level General Assembly meeting represented a unique opportunity to facilitate the integration of biodiversity throughout the UN system.
Danilo Türk, President, Slovenia, stressed that reaffirmation of commitments is necessary. Armida Alisjahbana, Minister for National Planning and Development, Indonesia underscored the importance of measurable and achievable targets for the CBD’s upcoming COP10 in Nagoya, Japan. Karen Ellemann, Minister of Environment, Denmark, stressed the importance of agreeing on a strategic plan.
Chantal Jouanno, Minister for Ecology, France, stressed the need to value biodiversity as an asset. Antonio Brack, Minister of Environment for Peru, proposed the identification of synergies between CBD, CCD and Climate Change regimes. László Borbély, Minister for Environment and Forests, Romania, highlighted the need for indicators to measure progress.
Izabella Teixeira, Minister of Environment, Brazil, speaking on behalf of the Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries, stressed the need for a new strategy for resource implementation. María Ignacia Benítez, Minister of Environment, Chile, urged accelerated efforts to protect biodiversity. Rufin Pacôme Ondzounga, Minister of Habitat and Environment, Gabon, emphasized the significance of the Libreville Declaration on Health and Environment in Africa. Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, US, said the US invests more than US$300 million annually on biodiversity protection. Jane Smart, International Union for Conservation of Nature, reiterated that innovative financing mechanisms are necessary.
Erik Solheim, Minister of Environment and International Development, Norway, co-chaired the afternoon panel session, together with María Fernada Espinosa, Minister of Heritage, Ecuador.
Tuila’Epa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister, Samoa, underscored the need to make the economic case for biodiversity. Roodal Moonilal, Minister of Housing and the Environment, Trinidad and Tobago, urged delegates to learn from the failure to meet the 2010 biodiversity target. Alberto Rómulo, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the Philippines, emphasized addressing the invisible biodiversity costs.
Kairat Umarov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kazakhstan, introduced the Green Bridge Initiative on increasing Eurasian integration on green growth. Peter Shanel Agovaka, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Solomon Islands, called for an urgent economic solution to logging.
Bernard Blaszczyk, Under-Secretary of State, Poland, underscored the need for making CBD’s strategic plan comprehensive. Bruno Oberle, State Secretary, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland underscored the need for increased synergies across the biodiversity conventions.
Janez Potočnik, EC Commission for the Environment, EU, stressed that without a successful meeting in Nagoya, meeting development goals would not be possible. Haroldo Rodas Melgar, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Guatemala, underscored the value of indigenous knowledge.
Carlos Castaño, Vice-Minister of Environment, Colombia, expressed frustration at the lack of agreement on a biodiversity target for the post-2010 period. Denis Lowe, Minister of Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Barbados, called on CBD parties to enhance support to Small Island Developing States. Tarja Reponen, Ambassador for Sustainable Development, Finland, called for concerted action on biodiversity over the next decade. Anita Wouters, Director-General, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Netherlands, underscored the need to join forces with the private sector.
Australia supported extending the International Year of Biodiversity to the International Decade of Biodiversity. New Zealand promoted Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Timely (SMART) goals to address biodiversity. Morocco stressed that CBD COP10 should make important decisions to address the biodiversity loss.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY TO REACH THE MDGS: KEY MECHANISMS AND INITIATIVES: Martin Dahinden, Director-General, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, stressed the importance of accountability and transparency and the centrality of the UN to address these issues. Beverely Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, Canada, stressed the need for: an alignment of the development and accountability agenda; donor countries and organizations to fulfill pledges and aid disbursements in a predictable and timely manner; and base data for comparison purposes.
Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, UK, stressed that arguments for corruption and accountability are weakened in the wake of non-fulfillment of aid pledges. Amara Konneh, Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs, Liberia, underscored the need for: alignment of aid to country systems; synchronization of aid assistance with national policies and plans; and provision of donor support in a timely manner.
Momad Piaraly Jutha, Ministry of Planning and Development, Mozambique, reiterated that mutual accountability lies at the center of aid effectiveness and true accountability occurs when the performance of donors is given equal status as recipient governments.
Bob Geldof, MDG Advocate, highlighted “serious operational challenges” in MDG achievement, including that progress on commitments on MDGs is nearly immeasurable given the lack of adequate data sets, particularly for African countries, and that additional aid commitments made by donors at the Gleneagles Summit are difficult to measure.
ADDRESSING THE GLOBAL AND SANITATION CHALLENGE: THE KEY TO THE MDGS: Jan Eliasson, WaterAid, Sweden, said the water and sanitation agenda is a catalyst for all other MDGs. Prince Willem-Alexander, the Netherlands, appealed to governments to prioritize the water and sanitation agenda in spite of competing priorities. Maria Otero, Under-Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, US, remarked that “there is no human security without water security,” and Emomali Rahmon, President, Tajikistan, proposed that 2012 be declared the International Year for Water Diplomacy. Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, UK, remarked that the water and sanitation goal is the second most off track of all MDGs.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that supply of clean water and sanitation would free time for mothers to provide for their children and that public health, sanitation and infrastructure policies must change. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Liberia, reported that 26 out of 56 African countries are on track to meet water supply targets, but that only six will meet the sanitation target, noting that this lack of adequate progress undermines other MDGs.
Jan Peter Balkenende, Prime Minister, the Netherlands, said investing in sanitation provides an eight-fold return on investments via improved health and productivity. Buyelwa Sonjica, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa, said the African Ministerial Council on Water had estimated a US$8.8 billion per annum deficit in water supply and called for developed countries to help Africa help itself. Hans-Jügen Beerfeltz, State Secretary, Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany, stressed that access to water and sanitation are preconditions for survival and human dignity. Madicke Nyang, Foreign Affairs Minister, Senegal, said the private sector has been instrumental in provision of water and sanitation services and has so far invested US$500 million. In closing, Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF said to ensure success investments must be made in effective innovations to help those most affected by sanitation issues.
TURNING EVIDENCE INTO PRACTICE - LEARNING FROM WHAT WORKS TO ACCELERATE MDG PROGRESS: Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, lauded Helen Clark, UNDP, for her commitment to the MDGs, adding that the introduction of the MDG Acceleration Framework shows real potential to improve livelihoods.
Choummaly Sayasone, President, People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, said his country’s progress on MDGs include: sustained annual economic growth rate of 7 percent; a decline in poverty from 48% to 26%; increased primary school enrolment, maternal and child health; and gender equality with 25% representation in parliament.
Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, President, Colombia, highlighted examples in which MDG successes can be attributed to efforts to bring the goals to the local-level through programmes such as “Families in Action,” which has benefited over 2.5 million families by bringing cash assistance to mothers with school-attending children. Olubanke King-Akerele, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Liberia, thanked Denmark for its support in awarding Liberia the MDG 3 award for outstanding leadership, commitment and progress toward the achievement of MDG 3 on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
During discussions, Sheikha Hassa Al Thani, Qatar, said the World Bank provides incentives for countries that include the disability agenda in their development campaigns. Gilbert Houngbo, Prime Minister, Togo, reported that his country is focusing on agricultural development; Amira Al-fadil Mohamed Al-fadil, Minister of Welfare and Social Security, Sudan, urged the UN to build human capacity and incorporate national positions and needs into reports. Ib Petersen, State Secretary for Development Policy, Denmark, said Denmark would continue to support the advancement of women and economic growth in developing countries.
INCLUSIVE GROWTH AND EMPLOYMENT IN AFRICA – ACCELERATING THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE MDGS: This side event was moderated by Helen Clark, UNDP. Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, emphasized that private sector-led growth is the best way to ensure increased job creation and called for the creation of enabling environments to encourage international investment and support domestic enterprises.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, stressed that for Liberia, inclusive growth must become a reality for the country to achieve the MDG targets. She noted that they were especially vulnerable to external shocks due to their emergence from a civil war, and that in their reform agenda they have focused on inclusive growth. Mizengo Pinda, Prime Minister of Tanzania, highlighting collaboration as key to achieving the MDGs, noted that Tanzania’s best opportunity for inclusive growth is from the agricultural sector.
Mo Ibrahim, The Mo Ibrahim Foundation, lauded the outcomes of the African Commission for focusing largely at the local level. Calling for the integration of markets, Donald Kaberuka, AfDB, underscored the energy potential of the continent for future economic growth. Maria Oteno, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, US, lamented the financial crisis, which has affected industrial development. Clark stressed that macro-economic policies need to support long-term growth with job creation and enabling environments. Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, UK, highlighted the imperative of property rights.
In the ensuing discussion, participants deliberated on: the effects of climate change on inclusive pro-poor growth; practical skills training for workers; labor intensive programmes to support economic growth; and the inclusion of minority groups, including women, the disabled and youth.
AIDS+MDGS DELIVERING RESULTS TOWARDS OUR SHARED COMMITMENTS: This event was moderated by Michel Sidibé, Executive Director, UNAIDS. Asha-Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary-General, said that national HIV/AIDS programmes strengthen national health systems and help reduce the vulnerability of the poor. Wen Jiabao, Premier, China, outlined his country’s actions in combating the disease, including: providing free antiretroviral drugs; mid- and long-term strategies; free schooling for AIDS orphans; and medical and financial support for those families affected by HIV/AIDs. Tayler Abuba Silva, a Nigerian schoolgirl, noted that her mother was HIV-positive (HIV+), and had prevented mother-child transmission through the use of antiretrovirals. She urged those present to ensure that no child is born HIV positive.
Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister, Ethiopia, outlined his country’s HIV/AIDS strategy, noting that it is based on three pillars, namely, integrated approaches to rolling out programmes, ensuring the primary healthcare system is cheap and effective, and social mobilization to promote healthy livelihoods. Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health, South Africa, noted that the mainstay of the South African AIDS strategy is prevention and highlighted the launch of a testing campaign. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Nigerian Minister for Health, on behalf of his President, Goodluck Jonathan, noted his country’s HIV/AIDS strategy bridges human resource gaps and strengthens and encourages public involvement.
SEVENTH AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT FORUM ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT: The overall objective of this Forum is to raise awareness and mobilize effective commitments and actions on the part of stakeholders and partners at all levels to mainstream climate change concerns into development policies, strategies, programmes and practices in Africa. dates: 10-15 October 2010 location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia contact: Isatou Gaye phone: +251-11 544 3089 fax: +251-11 551 4416 e-mail: email@example.com www: http://www.uneca.org/adfvii/
TENTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CBD: The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is expected to assess achievement of the 2010 target to reduce significantly the rate of biodiversity loss, adopt an international regime on access and benefit-sharing and celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity 2010. dates: 18-29 October 2010 location: Nagoya (Aichi), Japan contact: CBD Secretariat phone: 1-514-288-2220 fax: 1-514-288-6588 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.cbd.int/meetings/
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY: Convening under the theme “From Poverty to Decent Work: Bridging the Gap,” this day presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty and a chance for them to make their concerns heard. date: 18 October 2010 location: UN Headquarters, New York, US contact: Jomo Kwame Sundaram fax: +1 212 963 3062 www: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/social/intldays/IntlDay/2010.html
FIFTH MEETING OF THE AFRICAN LEARNING GROUP ON POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGIES AND THE MDGS: The main objective of the meeting is to contribute to the strengthening of social protection schemes in Africa through peer-learning and knowledge exchange. dates: 20-22 October 2010 location: Abuja, Nigeria contact: Kasirim Nwuke phone: +251 11 544 3375 fax: +251 11 551 2785 e-mail: email@example.com www: http://www.uneca.org/eca_programmemes/trade_and_regional_integration/events/LG5/index.html
GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON AGRICULTURE, FOOD SECURITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: This meeting aims to provide concrete actions to link the implementation of agriculture-related investments, policies and measures with long-term carbon emission reductions and adaptation benefits. dates: 31 October – 5 November 2010 location: The Hague, the Netherlands phone: +31 70 306 6366 fax: +31 70 306 6443 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.afcconference.com/
HARNESSING KNOWLEDGE TO ACHIEVE THE MDGS IN AFRICA: The purpose of the meeting is to explore how best African countries can strategically harness knowledge to advance their development in general and to achieve the targets of the MDGs. dates: 3-5 November 2010 location: Dakar, Senegal contact: Kasirim Nwuke phone: +251 11 544 3375 fax: +251 11 551 2785 e-mail: email@example.com www: http://www.uneca.org/eca_programmemes/trade_and_regional_integration/events/Harnessing/Index.html
NOVEMBER G-20 SUMMIT: The Republic of Korea is chairing the G-20 in 2010. dates: 11-13 November 2010 location: Seoul, Republic of Korea contact: Presidential Committee for G-20 Summit email: G20KOR@korea.krwww: http://www.g20.org
SIXTEENTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE UNFCCC AND SIXTH MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE KYOTO PROTOCOL: The 33rd meetings of the SBI and SBSTA will also take place concurrently. dates: 29 November – 10 December 2010 location: Cancún, Mexico contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://unfccc.int/
FOURTH UN CONFERENCE ON THE LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES: This conference aims to assess the results of the 10 year action plan adopted at the third UN Conference on LDCs and adopt new measures and strategies for their sustainable development. dates: 30 May – 3 June 2011 location: Istanbul, Turkey contact: Ricardo Dunn phone: +1 917 367 6006 e-mail: email@example.com www: http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/ldc/home