Achievements of MDGs uneven - Zuma

2015-09-27 21:21
President Jacob Zuma,  meets with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, right, at United Nations headquarters. (Bryan R Smith, AP)

President Jacob Zuma, meets with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, right, at United Nations headquarters. (Bryan R Smith, AP)

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Johannesburg - While the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals has seen extreme poverty decline significantly, their achievements in Africa have been uneven, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.

"Fifteen years ago, the Millennium Declaration was adopted. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) became a clarion call for directing and promoting global socio-economic development and for removing millions of people from poverty across the globe," he said in a statement.

"The achievement of the MDGs has been uneven across geographical regions with regions such as Africa lagging behind, due to historical reasons of underdevelopment."

The statement was made at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, during the UN Summit for Adoption of the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

Zuma said in the last 70 years, the world had changed significantly, from decolonisation, the ushering in of freedom and self-determination, to the establishment of free and independent nations.

However, despite such progress, the world has not adequately addressed underdevelopment, inequality, increasing poverty and economic exclusion.

"The Secretary General’s most recent report on the MDGs indicates that the number of people living in extreme poverty has declined significantly," Zuma said.

"Progress has been recorded in some of the MDGs. In my own country South Africa, there has been a huge increase in a number of areas, such as education, health and gender equality."

This was the context in which the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted at the "historic" 70th anniversary of the UN. 

"The goals and targets cover all three dimensions of sustainable development and enable us to continue seamlessly from the MDGs," Zuma said.

They ranged from ending poverty, ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education, achieving gender equality, empowering all women and girls, and conserving and sustainably using the ocean to addressing climate change.

"South Africa endorses this transformative post 2015 Development Agenda without any reservations," he said.

"More importantly, the outcome document represents a victory for developing countries as it affirms that the 2030 Agenda should build on the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals."

Additionally, while the 2030 agenda was universal in that its goals apply to both developing and developed countries, there was a clear recognition of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. 

"This takes into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and also respects national policies and priorities," Zuma said. 

Read more on:    unga  |  jacob zuma  |  us  |  economy  |  millennium development goals

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