Asean lists down causes of failure to meet MDGs
Written by Estrella Torres
LINGERING conflicts, fragile political situations and armed violence in Southeast Asia hamper the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) among the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
Dr. Surin Pits wan, Asean secretary-general raised the need to address these concerns of members, particularly developing countries like the Philippines, at the sidelines of the United Nations Review Conference of the MDGs in New York City.
Surin met with Timor Leste President Jose Ramos Horta; officials of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and of the World Bank and the United Kingdom, to identify programs to raise the importance of peace-building and state-building in achieving the MDGs, according to a briefing statement issued by the Asean.
Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines are having difficulty complying with the MDG commitments due to the lingering conflict and fragile political conditions in those countries.
In March 2009, Asean members agreed to align to the attainment of MDGs the road map to establish a single market by 2015.
The signatories to the MDG compact signed in year 2000 also set year 2015 as the end-year for compliance with the eight goals.
The declaration “reflects Asean’s serious commitment to reducing poverty and inequality and improve the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Asean,” Surin said
The MDGs are time-bound goals that aim to halve global poverty incidence by 2015 by eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal access to primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development.
Asean signed an assistance program with the European Union to develop statistical reports using the MDG indicators to support regional programs aligned to achieving the MDGs.