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Monday, 20 September 2010 10:08

United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals

NEW YORK, September 20, 2010 (UN) - Heads of state, joined by leaders from civil society organizations, foundations, and the private sector, converge at the United Nations (UN) to review the progress of all nations in the world in the efforts against extreme poverty, hunger, and disease.


The event is the three-day United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly, which will bring together world leaders to commit to an action agenda to achieve the eight anti-poverty goals by their 2015 target date.


Almost 150 heads of state and government are expected to attend the Summit, convened by the UN General Assembly. It is being held 10 years after world leaders committed to the goals laid out in the Millennium Declaration – and with only five years left until the 2015 target date for achieving the goals.


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has prepared a report on the progress of the international community on the MDGs.


The report shows a mixed picture, where a number of countries have achieved major successes in fighting poverty, improving school enrollment and child health, expanding access to clean water, strengthening control of malaria and tuberculosis, and providing increased access to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment.


These successes have taken place in some of the poorest countries, demonstrating that the MDGs are indeed achievable with the right policies, adequate levels of investment, and international support


But progress has been uneven and without additional efforts, several of the goals are likely to be missed in many countries. Around 1.4 billion people still subsist on less than $1.25 a day, the international poverty line defined by the World Bank.


Around one billion people suffer from hunger. Almost nine million children die each year before they reach their fifth birthday. Hundreds of thousands of women die due to complications of pregnancy or child birth every year. And only half of the developing world’s population has access to improved sanitation, such as toilets or latrines.


The Summit will start with an opening session featuring statements by the General Assembly Presidents, the Secretary-General, a representative from the United States as the UN host country, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council, and the heads of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, UN Conference on Trade and Development, and UN Development Programme.


Subsequent plenary meetings will feature statements by heads of state and government, representatives of non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, and the private sector. The Summit is expected to adopt an action agenda for achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.


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