UN calls for accelerated action with 1,000 days to go on Millennium Development Goals

Apr 5, 2013

Good food vs bad food. A short play performed at the launch of the 2012 national days for the MDGs and non-communicable diseases in Tonga. Photo: UNDP/Sheryl Ho

(Suva, Fiji) — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its partners in the Pacific are today observing the milestone of 1,000 days to the end of 2015 – the target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Starting today (5 April) – the actual milestone date – through to Friday 12 April, UN offices around the world are working with governments, civil society and international partners to mark “MDG Momentum: 1,000 Days of Action” in a variety of ways.

“The MDGs are the most successful global anti-poverty push in history,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “The Goals have helped set global and national priorities, mobilize action, and achieve remarkable results.” 

The eight time-bound MDGs address poverty and hunger, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, combatting AIDS, malaria and other diseases, environmental sustainability and a global partnership for development. 

Since the MDGs were adopted by all UN Member States in 2000, governments, international organizations and civil society groups around the world have helped make tremendous progress to improve people’s lives.

“Although important progress has been made on many of the MDGs, worldwide as well as in the Pacific it is equally clear that progress has been uneven and significant gaps exist,” UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Knut Ostby said.

At the 42nd Pacific Islands Forum in New Zealand in 2011 accelerating the achievement of the MDGs was an issue that Pacific Forum Leaders identified as requiring attention. In a joint statement with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-moon and the Pacific Forum Leaders said that they had “discussed ways of enhancing the work of the United Nations system in the region to support these efforts, including the possibility of utilizing the MDG Acceleration Framework to help identify national priorities for action in each Pacific island country.”

To build on this success and accelerate action, the Secretary-General called on the international community to: increase targeted investments in health, education, energy and sanitation; empower women and girls; focus on the most vulnerable people; keep up aid commitments; and re-energize efforts from governments to grassroots groups to make a difference.

The 1,000-day milestone is an opportunity to amplify awareness of MDG achievements and the commitment to continue global progress, including the Pacific.

“The more the world can achieve on the MDGs, the more it will be possible to build confidence and support for a bold and ambitious post-2015 development agenda,” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said.

“Forty-five countries are now using the MDG Acceleration Framework to identify pragmatic solutions to speed up progress on lagging MDGs, and to reduce disparities in progress to date,” Helen Clark said.

In the Pacific, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu have embarked on the MDG Acceleration Framework plan. Tonga has chosen to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs - MDG target 6.C), Tuvalu looked at improving primary school completion rates (MDG target 2.A) and Vanuatu identified improving access to reproductive health focusing on adolescent birth rates and unmet need for family planning (MDG target 5.B).

“The thrust of the MDG Acceleration Framework is built around focusing efforts and resources on the highest priorities at the national level, identifying challenges and bottlenecks and devising innovative solutions to address the identified challenges and bottlenecks,” Mr Ostby said.

Social media is playing a major role in observing the milestone and promoting MDG momentum and the need to rally the world to step up efforts to achieve the eight Goals as 2015 approaches.

Today, UNDP is also taking part in a 1,000-minute #MDGMomentum Twitter Rally as part of a joint, global campaign with UN and international organizations.

The UN’s MDG gateway has a dedicated page promoting the various social media materials and initiatives being organized by a number of UN agencies and partners. The website is:www.un.org/millenniumgoals.

Notes to Editors

Since they were adopted by all UN Member States in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have helped to set global and national priorities and prompt action on the ground. They have raised awareness and shaped a broad vision that remains the overarching framework for development work across the world.

Enormous progress has been made towards achieving the eight time-bound MDGs – covering poverty and hunger, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, combatting HIV/AIDS and other diseases, environmental sustainability and a global partnership for development.

Contact information

Sheryl Ho, UNDP Knowledge Communications Analyst, tel: (679) 3300-399, email: sheryl.ho@undp.org

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Pacific Office 
Go to UNDP Global