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Checking Up on the Millennium Development Goals

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Posted on Sep 18, 2010
U.S. Agency for International Development

Afghan women sit in on a USAID teacher training program. Since 2000, primary school enrollment has increased from 83 percent to 89 percent.

Anyone remember the Millennium Development Goals that nations made at the beginning of this millennium? Well, it turns out some people do, and they are meeting Monday to evaluate the efficacy of efforts to reduce poverty, disease, intolerance and inequality.

The goals, which countries made with a completion target of 2015, were lofty but important: increasing primary school enrollment (which, from 2000 to 2008 increased by 6 percentage points), for example. —JCL

The Associated Press:

At the dawn of the new millennium, world leaders pledged to tackle poverty, disease, ignorance and inequality — and went beyond generalities to commit themselves to specific goals. Progress has been made over the past decade, but many countries are still struggling to meet the 2015 target.

On Monday, another summit will open in New York to review what has, and hasn’t, been done.

“These Millennium Development Goals are a promise of world leaders,” says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who invited leaders of the 192 U.N. member nations to the three-day summit. “They’re a blueprint to help those most vulnerable and poorest people, to lift them out of poverty. This promise must be met,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press.

But recent reports show that the world’s poorest countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, have made little headway in eradicating poverty. Africa, Asia and Latin America have seen a lack of progress in reducing mother and child deaths, boosting access to basic sanitation, and promoting women’s equality.

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