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23 September 2010

UN Summit concludes with adoption of global action plan to achieve development goals by 2015

Secretary-General secures more than $40 billion for women's and children's health

VIENNA/NEW YORK, 23 September (UN Information Service) - A United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) concluded today with the adoption of a global action plan to achieve the eight anti-poverty goals by their 2015 target date and the announcement of major new commitments for women's and children's health and other initiatives against poverty, hunger and disease.

The outcome document of the three-day Summit - Keeping the Promise: United to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals - reaffirms world leaders' commitment to the MDGs and sets out a concrete action agenda for achieving the Goals by 2015. Based on examples of success and lessons learned over the last ten years, the document spells out specific steps to be taken by all stakeholders to accelerate progress on each of the eight Goals. It also affirms that, despite setbacks due to the economic and financial crises, remarkable progress has been made on fighting poverty, increasing school enrolment and improving health in many countries, and the Goals remain achievable.

In a major push to accelerate progress on women's and children's health, a number of Heads of State and Government from developed and developing countries, along with the private sector, foundations, international organizations, civil society and research organizations, pledged over $40 billion in resources over the next five years. The Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health - a concerted worldwide effort initiated by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon - has the potential of saving the lives of more than 16 million women and children, preventing 33 million unwanted pregnancies, protecting 120 million children from pneumonia and 88 million children from stunting due to malnutrition, advancing the control of deadly diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, and ensuring access for women and children to quality health facilities and skilled health workers.

"We know what works to save women's and children's lives, and we know that women and children are critical to all of the MDGs," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "Today we are witnessing the kind of leadership we have long needed."

In addition, a number of other significant commitments on each of the eight Goals were made by Governments, international organizations and partners as well as by business representatives at the Private Sector Forum organized by the UN Global Compact. Below is a selection, based on information available as of mid-afternoon today:

Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

  • The World Bank will increase its support to agriculture to between $6 billion and $8 billion a year over the next three years, up from $4.1 billion annually before 2008, under its Agriculture Action Plan to help boost incomes, employment and food security in many low-income areas.
  • The Republic of Korea pledged $100 million to support food security and agriculture in developing countries.
  • Chile announced an Ethical Family Income initiative, to be launched in 2011, to supplement the income of the poorest families and those in the vulnerable middle class.
  • committed to expand access to job opportunities for rural youth in India by promoting access to, an Internet job portal, in 40,000 villages across nine states in India.

Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

  • The World Bank will increase its zero-interest and grant investment in basic education by an additional $750 million, with a focus on the countries that are not on track to reach the education MDGs by 2015, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Dell committed to give $10 million towards education technology initiatives this year.

Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

  • The Earth Institute, Ericsson and Millennium Promise launched Connect To Learn, a non-profit global education initiative to improve the access to and quality of secondary education for children around the world - especially girls. Connect To Learn provides three-year scholarships to attend secondary school and covers tuition, books, uniforms as well as access to broadband technology. The first 100 scholarships will be provided in Millennium Villages in Ghana and Tanzania within the next 100 days.
  • UPS International pledged $2 million to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to empower women through leadership and environmental sustainability programmes in 145 countries.
  • ExxonMobil committed to $1 million in a partnership with Ashoka's Changemakers, the International Council for Research on Women and Thunderbird Emerging Markets Laboratory to support technologies that help women increase their productivity and participate more effectively in the economy. The programme is expected to directly benefit more than 13,500 people, with indirect benefits reaching more than 475,000 in the next two years.

Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality and Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health

  • See the detailed list of commitments for the $40 billion in resources pledged for the Secretary-General's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health posted on
  • Canada reaffirmed its commitment to mobilize more than $10 billion from G8 and non-G8 leaders, key donors and private foundations over the next five years through the Muskoka Initiative for maternal, newborn and child health adopted at the G8 Summit.
  • Trinidad and Tobago announced the launch of a Children's Life Fund to provide emergency medical care and surgery for children for medical procedures that cannot be accessed in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • LifeSpring Hospitals committed to provide an estimated 82,000 Indian women and their families with access to quality healthcare. Over the next five years, LifeSpring will increase the number of hospitals serving mothers and children throughout India from 9 to 200, which will improve overall standards of care and reduce rates of maternal and childhood deaths.

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases

  • France announced funding of $1.4 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for 2011-2013, an increase of 20 per cent. It is the first of a number of pledges expected ahead of the Global Fund's replenishment meeting on 4-5 October. [Note: 46 per cent of this pledge - the portion directly attributable to women's and children's health - is included in the $40 billion for the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health.]
  • The United Kingdom announced a tripling in its financial contributions to fight malaria, increasing its funds for malaria from £150 million a year to £500 million by 2014.
  • The World Bank announced an increase in the scope of its results-based health programmes by more than $600 million until 2015 to scale up essential health and nutrition services and strengthen the underlying health systems in 35 countries, particularly in East Asia, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Sumitomo Chemical committed to donate 400,000 of its anti-malarial Olyset Nets to every Millennium Village from 2010-2011. This follows its previous donation in 2006 of 330,000 nets.

Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability

  • The United States announced a commitment of $50.82 million over the next five years for a Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation seeking to install 100 million clean-burning stoves in kitchens around the world.
  • Cameroon announced an Energy Sector Development Programme to double energy production by 2015 and triple it by 2020.
  • WaterHealth International committed to build 75 water purification plants in Bangladesh and expand its existing network of water purification plants to an additional 100 villages in India, providing access to clean water for 175,000 people in under-served communities in Bangladesh and India.
  • PepsiCo committed to ensure access to clean water for 3 million people around the world by 2015.

Goal 8: Global Partnership for Development

  • The European Union offered funding amounting to €1 billion to the most committed and needy countries to make progress on the goals they are furthest from achieving.
  • Belgium pledged €400,000 for the Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries, to take place in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2011.
  • For more information on the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, including a detailed compilation of the commitments made, please see:
  • For more information on the Summit, including the outcome document and the group of MDG Advocates, UN Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace supporting the MDGs, please see:

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Martina Donlon
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Pragati Pascale
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Newton Kanhema
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