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Millennium +5. Picture credit: Reuters
Gender equality is key to the progress of all MDGs
 

Millennium +5

 

In September, as the United Nations marks its 60th year, delegates will meet in New York to assess the progress made towards achieving the development goals set out under the United Nations Millennium Declaration. The session will hear success stories and causes for concern - if the 2015 targets are to be reached in all the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) laid out below, international agreement and commitment to action is more important than ever

ONE
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day.

Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.

Across the former Soviet republics, the percentage living on less than US$1 a day has increased 13-fold since 1990. The trend in Asian CIS countries is especially worrying, where 17 million people went hungry between 2000 and 2002


TWO
Achieve universal primary education

Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling.

Progress is being made in most regions with several countries doubling enrolment since 1990, including the Dominican Republic which now boasts 97% enrolment. Globally, statistics on completion of primary schooling are less clear


THREE
Promote gender equality and empower women


Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education.

Gender equality is key to the progress of all MDGs, and part of that aim is through equal representation. Rwanda (49%) has come closest to full gender parity in the proportion of women in parliament. There has been most progress in north Africa, but all regions have seen substantial increases.


FOUR
Reduce child mortality

Though a vaccine for measles has been available for 40 years, the disease still kills 540,000 children a year. Least progress towards full immunisation has been made in sub-Saharan Africa, and in both Oceania and East Asia the situation worsened


FIVE
Improve maternal health

Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio
95% of all deaths from complications of pregnancy and childbirth occur in Africa and Asia. The increased attendance of health professionals at deliveries is aiding progress toward achieving this goal, although nearly no change has been seen in sub-Saharan Africa - representing 920 deaths per 100,000 births. For every woman who dies in childbirth, 30 more are seriously injured or disabled

SIX
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases


Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/Aids.
Have halted and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases

The Aids epidemic is growing fastest in a number of eastern European countries, mainly among intravenous drug users. In sub-Saharan Africa an increasing proportion of women are contracting HIV


SEVEN
Ensure environmental sustainability


Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources.

Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020.

There is an encouraging expansion of protected areas wordwide, but the overall picture of environmental policy implementation is poor.
Clean drinking water provision remains a major challenge, with over one billion people still having no access


EIGHT
Develop a global partnership for development


Develop further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory. This includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction ? nationally and internationally.

Address the least developed countries' special needs. This includes tariff- and quota-free access for their exports; enhanced debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries; cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous official development assistance for countries committed to poverty reduction.

Address the special needs of landlocked and small island developing states.

Deal comprehensively with developing countries' debt problems through national and international measures to make debt sustainable in the long term.

In cooperation with the developing countries, develop decent and productive work for youth.

In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.

In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies-especially for information and communications.

Some progress has been made towards lowering the cost of anti-retroviral drugs to treat people with HIV, but poor healthcare infrastructures limit availability. Drug policies for malaria and tuberculosis remain inadequate
 
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