MDG momentum – Post 2015

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Providing key information for MDG momentum

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an end to the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals while speaking at a high-level event convened by the MDG Advocacy Group on 25 September. Organized by UN DESA in collaboration with a number of partners, the event featured the launch of a new publication as well as a data tool visualizing 14 years’ worth of MDG data from UN DESA’s Statistics Division.

Gathering 300 global leaders, the MDG Advocates’ event co-hosted by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, showcased the successes of the eight MDGs to deliver a healthier, equitable and more sustainable future and it also launched the MDG Advocates’ Leaders Report, “Accelerating Action: Global Leaders on Challenges and Opportunities for MDG Achievement”, which was presented by MDG Advocate Graça Machel.

“The MDG Advocates play a crucial role in helping to keep the flame burning and continuously refocus international attention on this important agenda amidst numerous crises and other issues competing for public concern”. – Thomas Gass, UN DESA’s Assistant Secretary-General

Authored by 37 world leaders, this unique publication looks at successful policies and interventions championed by governments and partners to drive progress on the MDGs, as well as obstacles faced and actions taken to overcome them. It was published with the support of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, UN DESA, the UN Millennium Campaign, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and the UN Foundation.

“While the achievement of the MDGs depends on the action and commitment of governments as well as numerous organizations and of course individuals,” said Thomas Gass, UN DESA’s Assistant Secretary-General, “the MDG Advocates play a crucial role in helping to keep the flame burning and continuously refocus international attention on this important agenda amidst numerous crises and other issues competing for public concern.”

Challenges and opportunities for achieving MDGs by end of 2015

Led by the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg and President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame, the MDG Leaders praise successes of improving people’s lives.

But they also demand more action.

The lives of millions of people worldwide have improved due to concerted efforts. During the past two decades, the likelihood of a child dying before the age of five has been nearly cut in half, which means about 17,000 children have been saved every day. The maternal mortality ratio dropped by 45 per cent.

Anti-retroviral therapy for HIV-infected people has saved 6.6 million lives. An estimated 3.3 million deaths from malaria were averted due to a major expansion of simple preventions, such as bed nets, and treatments. Efforts to fight tuberculosis have saved an estimated 22 million lives.

UNMC-Logo-300x183“The Millennium Development Goals have been the greatest anti-poverty push in history,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “New partnerships have been established. New actors have been engaged. Now we must finish the job,” he urged. With many MDG targets already met – including reducing poverty, increasing access to clean drinking water, improving the lives of slum dwellers, and achieving gender parity in primary school – many more targets are also within reach by the end of 2015.

“All of us, whether in government, business, or civil society, have to keep pushing, not just to December 2015, but beyond,“ wrote the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg. ”The MDG deadline, after all, is not the finish line of the race, and there will be neither medals nor rest.”

The unfinished business of the MDGs remains the focus of the MDG leaders who underlined the need to invest in education, adolescent girls and women’s empowerment, scaling up efforts to fight child and maternal mortality and investing agriculture as well as water and in sanitation to end open defecation.

“One way to accelerate progress is to share innovations by learning from the experiences of others,” Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, said. “We have to cultivate cross-sectorial efforts and broad partnerships in the year ahead so that we can accelerate synergies, including between education and health as well as gender equality. Our experience as leaders is that it is a common sense that often requires the most sustained advocacy.”

“Reliable and robust data are critical for devising appropriate policies and interventions for achieving the MDGs and creating a better world for all”. – Stefan Schweinfest, Director of UN DESA’s Statistics Division

Visualizing 14 years’ worth of MDG data

As part of the United Nations ongoing efforts to highlight the progress made on the MDGs, an initiative to map official data from UN DESA’s Statistics Division, in partnership with Microsoft was initiated by the UN Millennium Campaign. This new visualization represents an innovative approach to communicating progress made toward poverty eradication and galvanizes momentum for the final days for MDG realization. By using Microsoft’s Power View to demonstrate data in an accessible and digestible format, the aim is to tell the story of the progress made toward eradicating global poverty, and inspire continued global efforts.

“Reliable and robust data are critical for devising appropriate policies and interventions for achieving the MDGs and creating a better world for all,” explained Stefan Schweinfest, Director of UN DESA’s Statistics Division.

“We have worked on monitoring the progress towards the MDGS since its start. Every month, millions of people download the global MDG report and the MDG data from our website. I am happy to collaborate with the UN Millennium Campaign to use MDG data visualization to communicate with policy makers and the public to promote development,” Mr. Schweinfest added.

Addressing the high-level event, the Secretary-General urged delegates to help focus on what he described as “two critical fronts” in the battle towards realizing the MDGs: accelerating progress towards meeting the MDGs and preparing for a post-2015 world. “We need a strong successor framework in place,” affirmed Ban Ki-moon. “Building mechanisms for effective partnerships and multi-stakeholder accountability will be critical to the success of the post-2015 development agenda.”

Leaving no one behind

The 2014 theme, “Leave no one behind: think, decide and act together against extreme poverty,” recognizes and underscores the demanding challenge of identifying and securing the participation of those experiencing extreme poverty and social exclusion in the post-2015 development agenda.

“The United Nations and the World Bank and all of us can end extreme poverty from this earth, to save everybody and to leave nobody behind. That is our priority and vision,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated earlier this year as he addressed an End Poverty Call to Action Event in Washington, D.C. taking place alongside the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

end world povertyThe call to “Leave no one behind” points to the urgent need to eliminate discrimination, marginalization and exclusion based on poverty, ethnic origin, gender, age, disability or economic and social status. It will require concerted action to actively reach out to the most impoverished and excluded groups in our societies. At the core of such action must be the alignment of development policies and targets, and their implementation, with human rights norms and standards, in keeping with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. As the Secretary-General has also said, “we must not fail the billions who look to the international community to fulfill the promise of the Millennium Declaration for a better world”.

For more information: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2014

“The post-2015 development agenda calls for a single development framework with poverty reduction and sustainable development at its core”. – Wu Hongbo, UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General

For more information:

MDG Leaders Report, MDG Data Visualization and Millennium Development Goals Snapshot 2014 – VIDEO BELOW

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