UKaid and The Big Push to meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals1Comments
As global leaders gather in New York this week for the United Nations General Assembly there is an urgency underlying many of the discussions, the rapidly approaching 2015 target for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The MDGs were developed in 2000 in response to the multiple development challenges and inequalities facing us in the new millennium. They have stimulated an unprecedented global response that has already saved and changed many millions of lives for the better – as you can see from this film highlighting progress in each area, including a 33% reduction in malaria deaths in Africa.
However there is still more to do. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is concerned that progress may be slowed by the first decline in global official development assistance in many years, repeating his call to the international community not to “place the burden of fiscal austerity on the backs of the poor”
This was a sentiment echoed by our own Prime Minister, David Cameron, this week saying: “we cannot lose sight of delivering on these goals. It is because of our efforts so far that already in the last decade we have achieved a scale and speed of poverty reduction unprecedented in human history.”
Ray Chambers, co-founder of Malaria No More, MDG advocate and the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Malaria reinforced the message, appealing for “the funding to deliver on these goals. We have made tremendous progress, but there is further to go. We can’t stop now.”
The UK has taken a leading role in promoting and supporting progress on the MDGs from the start. A special event co-hosted with the US this week was used to mark this progress and highlight success so far. However, both the UK and US governments recognise that more is still needed. David Cameron took the opportunity to urge other nations to honor their aid commitments. He promised that the UK would lead by example, achieving the 0.7% of GNI aid commitment target in 2013. Despite the difficult economic climate, the Prime Minister said, “to those who say we can’t afford to act. I say, we can’t afford to wait”. Putting this figure into perspective, an Independent article this week illustrated the life-changing difference that this increase could make and, “All of this for less than a penny out of every pound of national income.”
Mr Cameron also found time to convene, with his co-chairs, the first meeting of the High Level Panel that has been tasked by the UN Secretary General to recommend options for the post-2015 international development framework. Speaking about the discussions Mr Cameron said “We want something simple, straight forward, bold and ambitious that can unite the world.” We are looking forward to the next meeting, due to take place in London on 1 November.
In the meantime, please join us in showing your support for “The Big Push” needed to achieve the global health goals by 2015. Join the campaign being featured by the Huffington Post to raise awareness and support: “We have never been so close to achieving goals that were unthinkable only a few years ago,” said Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post. “We are launching this campaign to make it happen.” One feature of the campaign is a digital wall of portraits on the Huffington Post, showing people holding up signs that demonstrate their commitment to fighting these diseases. Please support the campaign by posting your own photograph.