Press Releases

17 January 2005

United Nations to Launch Practical Plan to Achieve Millennium Development Goals

VIENNA, 17 January (UN Information Service) -- In support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as adopted by world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan launched the Millennium Project to recommend the best strategies for achieving the MDGs.

Over a period of three years, 265 international experts drawn from various disciplines worked on the Millennium Project to create a recommended plan of action that would enable developing countries to meet the MDGs, and thereby substantially improve the human condition by 2015. The final Task Force Reports of the Project will be released at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, with Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Project Director Jeffrey Sachs, on 17 January, 2005.

The eight Millennium Development Goals aim at eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and empowering women; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and developing a global partnership for development. If these goals are met, more than 500 million people will be lifted out of extreme poverty and 250 million will no longer suffer from hunger, 30 million children who would otherwise die before reaching age five will be saved, two million maternal deaths will have been averted, 350 million people will have access to safe drinking water and 650 million will have access to basic sanitation.

The Project recommends various ways and means for both developing and developed countries to take action. It encourages developing countries to adopt development strategies, which should enable them to meet the Millennium Development Goal targets for 2015. Such poverty reduction strategies should be in place by the end of 2006.

To support the MDGs, developed countries should increase their Official Development Assistance (ODA) from 0.25 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2003 to around 0.44 per cent in 2006 and 0.54 per cent in 2015. On its part, Austria increased its financial contribution in 2004 by 30 million Euro. Austria plans to further increase its ODA to 0.33 per cent of its GDP by 2006. These funds will   be used for projects aimed at reducing poverty in 20 Austrian partner-countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Following the release of the report titled "A more secure world - our shared responsibility" of the Secretary General's High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, the Millennium Project Report is the second key document, which is a significant part of the Secretary-General’s report of the progress in implementing the Millennium Declaration.

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