Jennifer A. Ng, Business mirror, April 11, 2012
THE United Nations has already begun the process of drafting a new set of international goals for eliminating poverty and other deprivations, three years and seven months before the deadline to achieving the so-called Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Hiroyuki Konuma, assistant director general and representative for Asia and the Pacific of the UN unit Food and Agriculture Organization, disclosed that the new set of MDGs may focus on the ill effects of climate change as well as the need to achieve food security.
“Consultations [for drafting the new set of MDGs] have already started. We realize that there is a need to look at emerging issues such as climate change and food security. There is a need to look at a new direction,” said Konuma at the sidelines of the Asian Irrigation Forum which kicked off in Pasig City on Wednesday.
“At this stage, discussions center on the general content of the global agenda [new set of MDGs],” he stressed.
The FAO official said he hopes that the new set of development goals may be introduced by 2015.
The UN-sponsored MDGs, which provide concrete and numerical benchmarks for tackling extreme poverty, were adopted by governments all over the world including the Philippines in the year 2000.
The Millennium Declaration called for achieving the international goals by 2015.
The eight MDGs call for the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promotion of gender equality and empowering women, reduction of child mortality, improvement of maternal health, combatting HIV/AIDS, ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a partnership for development.
Konuma also disclosed that the new set of MDGs will be included in the agenda of the the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20”) meet which will be held in Brazil this June.
The UN noted in an annual report released in July 2011 that the “time has come to look at the future of the international development agenda as the 2015 deadline [for the MDGs] is approaching.”
“Not all MDGs are expected to be achieved by 2015, but even if they were, much further progress would be needed to achieve higher levels of sustainable development beyond 2015 [to eradicate, rather than halve, poverty, for example, as called for in the Millennium Development Goals agenda],” the report read.
The UN noted that several core values and objectives of the Millennium Declaration did not receive “sufficient emphasis” in the MDGs agenda. These include environmental sustainability, food and nutrition security, addressing demographic pressures, human rights and good governance and ensuring peace, security and sustainable global development.
The UN said the consideration of a new development agenda beyond 2015 would need to start with a “thorough, broad-based and inclusive review of the present agenda and its underlying as well as assessment of what has worked and what has not. Such a review would need to be put in the context of the global development challenges ahead.”