Friday, September 24, 2010

MDG Summit: We've heard the talking, now let's see some action

As the Millennium Development Goals Summit comes to a close in New York, CARE is urging the international community to continue the momentum and act on their promises.

After months of negotiations, governments agreed on an Outcome Document outlining specific recommendations on how to move forward on the MDGs. Although it does not list specific funding commitments, it calls for annual progress reports, plus another special MDG summit in 2013.

"With nearly a billion people searching daily for food, and less than five years to meet our goal, the international community must take collective responsibility to help hold governments accountable and make sure that these pledges are not mere words but bold action," said CARE President and CEO Dr. Helene Gayle.

So far, the outlook from the MDG Summit is cautiously optimistic. CARE has been deeply engaged in the process leading up to the Summit, including being a leading contributor to the development of the U.N. Secretary-General's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health. Yesterday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced an historic pledge of US$40 billion from governments, NGOs, private industry and other stakeholders over the next five years to accelerate progress towards meeting MDGs four (child health) and five (maternal health), the two goals lagging furthest behind. Commitments from aid agencies totaled over $5 billion, of which CARE contributed $1.8 billion.

"The excitement at the U.N. event was palpable," said Dr. Gayle. "Coming together across sectors to empower millions of women and children around the world is partnership at its greatest. Now, we must all turn this roadmap into immediate action."

Dr. Gayle added, "CARE stands ready to work with the international community to share proven approaches for reaching the extreme poor and ensuring that the needs of the most vulnerable populations are reflected and met with robust interventions."

As the Summit comes to a close, urgent work remains. In order to fill the gap between the world in which we live and the world we want, CARE will continue to push the international community to:

  • Focus greater attention on people in extreme poverty and the most vulnerable people and populations
  • Be more gender responsive and promote gender equality and women's empowerment
  • Reflect broad-based country ownership, including communities and those being targeted by interventions
At the same time, meeting the MDGs requires action beyond the U.N. Ongoing, unprecedented partnership among U.N. member states, NGOs like CARE, and the private sector is critical to achieving the MDGs. These partnerships also enable us to ensure that commitments are linked, efforts are not duplicative but complementary, and progress is robustly measured.