World falling far short on Millennium Development Goals – UN official

29 April 2003

A top United Nations development official has warned that the international community is falling far short of reaching targets set by world leaders in 2000 at the UN Millennium Summit, stressing that 100,000 people needed to be raised out of poverty every day, 200,000 must be provided sanitation and 400,000 more with safe energy in order to meet those goals.

What was currently being done, mainly at the country level, was nothing compared to those figures, covering just a tiny fraction of what was needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals, Nitin Desai, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, told a ministerial round table of the Commission on Sustainable Development yesterday.

The international community should be asking what could be done to strengthen national capacities, Mr. Desai added. If people were to rise above poverty, it would be due to what was accomplished in other areas, such as human resource management. Policy coherence was key to obtaining results and should be translated into closely monitored procedures at the country level.

The discussion was the first of three interactive ministerial round tables involving major stakeholders being held this week at UN Headquarters in New York. The dialogues are intended to bring together all major participants in the fields under discussion: poverty eradication; sustainable consumption and production patterns; natural resource management; health and sustainable development; and the institutional framework for sustainable development.

 

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