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Minister for International Development Cooperation to Develop UN's Future Development Goals

Gunilla Carlsson

Press release

01 August 2012

Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson has been appointed by Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon to an international High-level Panel tasked with preparing the future global development goals.

The Panel will be co-chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia.

The Panel is required to submit its report by June 2013. The UN General Assembly will discuss the report in September 2013.

At the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, world leaders agreed on a special Millennium Declaration and specific development goals (MDGs) for the world to achieve by 2015. The newly appointed Panel is to draw conclusions concerning these goals and the results achieved, and on the basis of current challenges propose new global development goals.

Sweden will also work with Botswana in leading a special initiative on the health-related Millennium Development Goals, which will serve as input to the Panel's overall work.

 Although progress has been made and several MDGs are expected to be achieved at global level, the goals in their entirety will not be achieved by 2015. Aggregate positive trends also conceal large differences within countries and between different income groups. The poorest and most marginalised because of gender, age, disability and ethnicity often belong to the groups whose development has been weakest.

The target of halving world poverty will be achieved by 2015. Poverty reduction has mainly occurred in East and Southeast Asia, particularly China. By contrast, in sub-Saharan Africa, conflict countries and fragile states poverty reduction has been weaker. The forecast indicates that 15 per cent of the world's population will be living below the poverty line in 2015.

The target of full employment and decent work will not be achieved, due to the financial crisis and growing populations. Neither will the goal to promote gender equality and empower women be achieved. However, the gap between girls and boys and between men and women is declining in terms of access to education, seats in parliament, and to some extent also with regard to employment outside the agricultural sector.

The target of reducing child mortality by two-thirds may be achieved but greater efforts over the next few years will be required. Every year 7.6 million children under the age of five die of preventable causes. Regarding the target of reducing maternal mortality, progress has been made, but in low income countries pregnancy still entails substantial risk to a woman's life. Access to reproductive health services has increased but there is still a lack of contraception and antenatal care.

No progress has been made in achieving the goal of ensuring environmental sustainability with regard to the longer-term aspects (ecosystems, CO2, etc.). On the other hand, the target of halving the number of people worldwide without access to drinking water has been reached although ten per cent will still not have access by 2015. Sanitation needs are still substantial and the target will not be reached. The number of people living in slum areas has increased.

In summary, the latest MDG report from the UN Secretary General indicates that development has been strongest in countries that have experienced continued economic growth and undertaken targeted efforts in critical areas. However, development successes have been fewer in the areas requiring structural changes and strong political commitment to ensure sustainable financial support over a longer period of time. This probably explains the relatively weak progress towards the targets relating to maternal mortality and access to sanitation.

In addition, new challenges have arisen since 2000 and old ones have been intensified. These include growing inequalities, demographic changes, urbanisation and growing slums, fragile states, food security, access to energy and environmental issues.



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