UN forum calls on Asian governments to increase efforts to ‘reach the unreached’

UN forum calls on Asian governments to increase efforts to ‘reach the unreached’

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East and South-East Asian governments must do more to “reach the unreached” by providing improved schools and hospitals, as well as protecting the environment, participants at a United Nations regional forum said today at the close of a two-day meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam.

East and South-East Asian governments must do more to “reach the unreached” by providing improved schools and hospitals, as well as protecting the environment, participants at a United Nations regional forum said today at the close of a two-day meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam.

More than 100 people from 12 countries met to discuss barriers to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of targets to a set of targets that aim to eliminate a host of social ills by 2015.

“I have no doubt in my mind that, together, we can not only achieve the MDGs in time, but also go beyond the targets,” said Kim Hak-Su, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

Participants at the MDG Forum discussed obstacles to development in the areas of education, child and maternal health care, women's rights, forests and the environment, and financing and human capital needs.

Mr. Kim also informed the Forum, a UNESCAP, UN Development Programme (UNDP) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) initiative, of an Action Plan pinpointing significant areas that must be addressed immediately, which will assist in creating a strategic roadmap to meet the MDGs.

Working towards development goals “is a collective goal for all of us – governments, international community, the private sector and civil society,” said Ayumi Konishi, the ADB Country Director for Viet Nam.

A South Asia regional forum was held last October in Nepal, and a similar forum for Central Asia will be held later this year.