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04/12/2016

Conflict-ridden states cannot reach MDGs without help, NGO says

Development Policy

Conflict-ridden states cannot reach MDGs without help, NGO says

World Vision is calling on Germany and other states in the international community to come to the aid of conflict-ridden states in fulfilling Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). [United Nations Photo}

The international community is set to negotiate post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) during the coming week, but conflict-ridden countries are not expected to achieve any of the existing MDG targets due to be completed in one-year, says NGO World Vision. EurActiv Germany reports.  

Member states still have until September 2015 to reach the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established in 2000. But if the process continues at its current rate, they will not fulfill their commitments, argues the development NGO World Vision.

Particularly fragile states with violent, ongoing conflicts are far from even reaching one of the development goals, World Vision explained.

According to current estimates, 34 countries will not achieve the MDGs in time for the deadline. 22 of these are conflict-ridden countries.

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As a result, World Vision is calling for a “new forward-thinking peace policy” to be included in the post-2015 MDG agenda.

“The focus must be on preventative measures to mitigate conflicts”, said World-Vision peace analyst Ekkehard Forberg. “Germany and the EU could be leaders” on this, he said.

Forberg recommended building up early-warning systems in affected countries, such as Uganda, where new rebel groups are currently taking shape.

There, it is important to create structures and institutions to deal with conflict at the right time, he pointed out. Forberg said affected states need support in pursuing these goals, from Germany, as well.

Together with its European partners, the German government must gather a pool of civilian specialists and experienced mediation teams that can be quickly deployed, he said. These people should be able to negotiate between conflicting parties at an early stage, and have the financial firepower necessary to weigh in.

For this reason, World Vision is calling on the German government to boost the peace budget to the same level of its national defense budget and to promote anchoring the “peace” target in the upcoming Post-2015 MDGs.

Just a few days ago, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on leading politicians in the international community to do more to fulfill the MDGs in time: “While MDGs have slashed the [global] poverty rate by half, world leaders must continue their unrelenting efforts to accelerate progress towards all goals by the final deadline,” Ban Ki-moon told international journalists last week.

“Some 57 million children are still out of school. Women and children are still dying from preventable diseases, and people are burning this world in pursuit of industrialisation and prosperity,” the UN Secretary General said.

According to the latest world hunger report, around 805 million people are still suffering from starvation worldwide. That is a positive trend and a decline of over 100 million in the last ten years.

The first millennium goal – reducing the number of people suffering from hunger by one-half between 1990 and 2015 – could be achieved, if the community of states take “suitable and prompt measures” to do so, the UN report said.

According to the report, sub-Saharan Africa remains the most concerning case. One in four people in the region is malnourished. But up to 526 million people are also starving in Asia.

At the meeting of the General Assembly, the United Nations plans to discuss so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the period after 2015. The states have already determined framework conditions at the Rio+20 Conference in 2012.

Background

The United Nations set the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be met by 2015. The goals are:

  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development

In 2008, governments, businesses and other organisations reinforced their commitments to meet the MDGs, raising some €12.3 million in new funds for development. Two years later, the MDG summit adopted a global action plan, again reinforcing the drive towards meeting the MDGs.

Timeline

  • 24 Sept. 2014: Special meeting of the UN General Assembly on Post-2015 Millennium Development Goals

Further Reading