‘Some not on MDGs course’
BARBADOS should be on course to achieve its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, says Government backbencher Hamilton Lashley.
But he believes many other intra- and extra-regional countries are lagging woefully behind the targets set by world leaders in 2000.
“Half the countries across the world which signed on to the Millennium Development Goals will not reach the targets set by 2015,” he told the DAILY NATION, noting that considerations such as climate change and the global economic crisis had slowed progress.
“But the world is not responding. Unless governments across the region and the world scale up their efforts, these goals will not be achieved, particularly in African and Caribbean countries. Vulnerable people across the world would further be threatened. Half the world’s population still live on what the United Nations considers less than US$2.50 per day.”
Ten years ago, world leaders endorsed eight MDGs and they are to meet at the UN next week to assess the progress. The initiative was conceived to reduce poverty, hunger and disease and to promote gender equality, health, education, environmental sustainability and global partnerships.
Lashley, who was advisor on poverty eradication with the Owen Arthur administration and charged with overseeing the MDG thrust, said Barbados was “uniquely poised” to achieve the goals in spite of some challenges.
He said Barbados’ model was an example for other countries and with the political will and commitment he expected to see it reach the targets in another four years.
Lashley said even before the UN had identified education as a priority goal, Barbados had emphasised learning as a major plank of development.
He said significant partnerships had been established to sensitise the population and to reduce the threat of HIV/AIDS.
He added that much attention had been given to reducing child mortality by the introduction of a paediatric ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
But he noted that some world leaders had a lot of questions to answer.
MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS:
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women.
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development.