UN Secretary-General Releases MDG Report

15 March 2010: The UN Secretary-General has released a report titled “Keeping the promise: a forward-looking review to promote an agreed action agenda to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015” (A/64/665). The report presents information on progress made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and calls for a new pact to accelerate the progress in achieving the goals.

The report identifies climate change as an emerging issue and challenge, and underlines that its most severe impacts are being experienced by vulnerable populations who have contributed the least to the problem. It further states that achieving the MDGs should contribute to the capacities needed to tackle climate change, and underlines the need for greater international support and solidarity to make the shift towards a low-carbon economy.

In the section on lessons learned for accelerating progress in achieving the MDGs, the Secretary-General stresses the urgency tobroaden and strengthen partnerships to ensure supportive international frameworks for trade, taxation, technology and climate change mitigation and adaptation to sustain long-term human development. It is further noted that the persisting challenges in the area of environmental sustainability are compounded by the food, fuel and financial crisis, as well as by climate change. At the same time, it recognizes that the interlinkages among the challenges of poverty, food, energy, global recession and climate change present the global community with a unique opportunity to tackle them together.

The report also includes some recommendations for action, highlighting the need to, inter alia: take account of the rapidly changing development landscape transformed by ecosystem decline, including the challenges posed by climate change, in efforts to accelerate progress towards the MDGs; make greater efforts in both developed and developing countries to promote alternative renewable energy sources and low-emission technologies; and develop national action plans and investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy to shift to low carbon growth, creating “green” employment and reducing poverty. [The Report]