– President tells UN
PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo has told the United Nations that Guyana is on track in meeting most of the goals set by the world body to sharply reduce poverty by 2015.
The President was among world leaders in New York last week to review progress on the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed to in 2000.
At the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly’s general debate, Mr. Jagdeo said education and health in Guyana are the two specific sectors that confirm the country’s conformity to the MDGs. Guyana has attained universal primary education, and is working assiduously to improve at the secondary level with about 72% of the targets being met. Guyana has also gained great success in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.
The 192 UN member countries and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to meet the eight international development goals by 2015.
The goals were officially established at the Millennium Summit in 2000, where leaders adopted the UN Millennium Declaration from which the eight goals were promoted. These have 21 targets and a series of measurable indicators for each.
The goals are: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; improve child mortality; improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development.
President Jagdeo said that faced with the effects of the financial crisis and climate change like many other countries in the globe, Guyana is putting its best foot forward to weather the crisis with minimum suffering for people.
With regard to climate change, he touted the country’s revolutionary Low-Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) model.
“We recognise that we must do more than just complain about climate change; we have created our Low-Carbon Development Strategy which sets out a long term path to protect our 16 million hectare rainforest and move our entire economy onto a low-carbon trajectory,” he said.
The LCDS represents a model of partnership between developing and developed countries in advancing common development and environmental objectives.
However, Mr. Jagdeo said that in spite of the progress at the national level, serious challenges remain at the global level.
In addition to avoiding food and financial crises, Guyana’s efforts have yielded significant achievement in education, health, gender equality, poverty eradication, and particularly in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who called the UN summit, said the shortfalls towards achieving the MDGs are not because they are unreachable or because the time is too short, but because of unmet commitment, inadequate resources, lack of focus and accountability and insufficient interest in sustainable development.
The summit was intended to accelerate progress towards achieving the MDGs.
– President tells UN