Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group Annual Meeting
WED 26 SEPTEMBER 2012
New York City, USA
Subject(s): United Nations; Foreign Affairs
Prime Minister Julia Gillard today co-chaired the annual meeting of the Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group, working to drive progress in reaching the Goals by 2015.
The Prime Minister announced her personal priorities for advocacy would be promoting access to quality education, and achieving gender equality.
This work will occur alongside Australia’s role in the Secretary-General’s Education First initiative, and the recent action on gender equality announced at the Pacific Islands Forum.
While the world has made strong progress on the MDGs, there is a lot of work still to do in the final three years to the 2015 deadline to help the world’s poorest people.
It is unacceptable in the 21st century that children fail to reach their potential because they go to bed hungry, suffer from preventable illness, or miss out on the chance to go to school and learn to read.
Reaching the Millennium Goals is about tackling these devastating barriers to opportunity and equality.
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) seek to:
· End poverty and hunger
· Achieve universal primary education
· Promote gender equality and empower women
· Improve child health
· Boost maternal health
· Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
· Ensure environmental sustainability
· Attain a global partnership for development.
Education is critical to making all the MDGs a reality. A good quality education provides a pathway out of poverty. 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty if all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills.
We also know that societies only reach their full potential if women are participating economically and politically as equals. For example, the Asia Pacific region is losing over $US40 billion annually because of women’s limited access to employment opportunities.
During the meeting the group discussed actions it will take in the coming year to work with governments, business, civil society and communities on achieving the eight MDGs.
Set up in 2010, the Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group helps to drive global efforts to achieve the MDGs. Ms Gillard became co-chair with President Kagame of Rwanda earlier this year at the request of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, in recognition of Australia’s strong international development credentials.