[Dateline: New York | Author: DESA]
Heads of State and Government, business, philanthropic and civil society leaders gathered at the United Nations Thursday, 25 September to step up national action and international support to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
"Your actions here today show that the world is ready to intensify dramatically the effort to achieve the MDGs in all countries by 2015," Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon told participants at the closing of the High-level Event on the MDGs. [SG remarks]
Injecting new energy into a shared strategy to create enduring social and economic development for all, the Secretary-General announced at his closing session that "Today, we have strengthened the global partnership for development". He welcomed the renewed commitment by the European Union to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income (GNI) as official development assistance (ODA).
"We should rededicate ourselves to reaching an ambitious, pro-poor outcome to the Doha Development Round", he said.
The Secretary-General also welcomed the new spirit of South-South cooperation, stressing that "developing countries, big and small, are making significant contributions for the achievement of the MDGs."
Significant commitments were announced in four key areas: food security, education, health and the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The Secretary-General also welcomed the attention given by Member States to climate change and sustainable development saying, "More and more countries are committed to national sustainable development strategies".
He stressed that the message coming out of Thursday's meeting, of the need for decisive and timely action to ensure that all countries reach the MDGs, should be clear, and promised that the United Nations will intensify its own efforts – in advocacy, support for national strategies, forging and strengthening partnerships, mobilizing global action and increasing accountability.
The Secretary-General has proposed the convening of a formal summit in 2010 to review the implementation of the MDGs.
The one-day High-level Event on the MDGs was organized at the start of the sixty-third session of the General Assembly to accelerate MDG progress and build political momentum for the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, to be held in Doha, Qatar from 29 November to 2 December 2008.
The Secretary-General urged world leaders attending the High-level Event to seize the opportunity provided by the Doha Review Conference to address critical issues on the Financing for Development agenda, as well as new challenges, such as climate change and the ongoing financial, food and fuel crises. He noted further, "We have heard concerns on the global financial crisis and how it threatens the development gains made so far. Faced with this and other ongoing crises, we have to work together in the spirit of solidarity and partnership".
General Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto, co-convener of the High-level Event, called on all Member States to be represented in Doha at the highest possible level. "We are facing a global economic crisis and we must move ourselves into sustained emergency mode to meet the challenges facing us".
Playing host to the upcoming Doha Conference, the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, in his remarks, urged development partners to develop new mechanisms and to channel the necessary investments to achieve the MDGs.
President D'Escoto said the Doha Conference would provide a critical opportunity to adopt the required plans of action "to overcome the deep forms of inequalities that divide nations, and to find a new form of globalization that would be more equitable and just".
Another step on the road to Doha was made on Friday in New York, with the signing of the Agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Qatar and a supplementing Memorandum of Understanding for Security Cooperation. The signatories included, on behalf of the Qatari Government Mohamed Abdullah Al-Rumaihi, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and on behalf of the United Nations, Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, and Bruno Henn, Chief, Security and Safety Service, for the Memorandum of Understanding for Security Cooperation. The Agreement was signed also in the presence of Oscar de Rojas, the Executive-Secretary of the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development.
The Doha Review Conference will be the culmination of a number of major development events in 2008 focused on strengthening implementation of existing commitments and the effectiveness of development cooperation.