Good news from the UN foundation: The annual report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) -eight goals established in 2000 by world leaders at the United Nations- shows that the world is making significant progress in reducing poverty, improving health, and saving lives.
Some of the important findings:
- The number of children who die before the age of 5 has been reduced by nearly half. In 1990, an estimated 12.6 million children died before the age of 5. By 2012, that number had been cut to an estimated 6.6 million children.
- Global actions to prevent and treat malaria averted an estimated 3.3 million deaths, mostly of children under 5, from 2000 to 2012.
- The proportion of people living in extreme poverty was cut in half between 1990 and 2010.
- All developing regions in the world have achieved, or are close to achieving, gender parity in primary education. From 1990 to 2012, more than 2.3 billion people gained access to an improved source of drinking water. Challenges: The fact is that one in eight people remain hungry due to lack of access to food, job and financial support, the planet is under severe stress, and escalating inequalities around the world are causing violence and conflicts. It is in this context that the UN is carving out the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs) a universal goal integrating the three dimensions of Development (Social ,Economic and Environmental). The SDGs are to replace the MDGs by 2016. The over all goal is to end extreme poverty by 2030, address the economic and financial crisis as well as to deal with the environmental issues primarily climate change which is impacting the most vulnerable, with no one is spared.
- Another challenge is the fact that there is growing influence of the corporations at the UN, in the name of partnerships. Those who are committed to the common good are deeply concerned about the motives of these corporations which are causing the very problems the world is facing today. It is a sign of hope that the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted in June 2014, through a vote, a historic and significant resolution to start a process for an international legally instrument on transnational corporations : www.mms–un.org What are we doing at the UN?
- Closely following the Open Working Group ( 13 sessions) which formulates the SDGs with targets to be submitted to the General Assembly in Sept 2014 for approval by all the 193 countries.
- Written and oral statements, letter to Secretary General to ensure human rights in the SDGs: http://www.blueplanetproject.net/index.php/let-ban-ki-moon-know-you-want-human-rights-in-the-sdgs/
- Advocating with the ambassadors as members of major groups, (Eg. Mining Working Group) for a human right approach to development, very particularly to include water and sanitation in the document, so that all people can meet their basic needs; besides advocating for ensuring finance, the means of implementation of the proposed Goals.
What can you do within this 18 months?
* Political commitment is key -Do all you can to influence the politicians in your countries to commit to a universal Goal. More details : www.sustainabledevelopmentknowledgeplatform, http://www.iisd.ca/sdgs/owg13/
*.Change behavior by a conscious life style change since each and every one of us contributes to global warming.
More important is: Join in PRAYER! The power of GOD and the power of people are above the power of money and greed.
Celine Paramunda MMS