Part II: Millennium Development Goals



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At the Millennium Summit in September 2000, the largest gathering of world leaders in history adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty, and setting out a series of targets with a deadline of 2015. These have come to be known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2007, the MDG monitoring framework was revised to include four new targets agreed on by member states at the 2005 World Summit, namely, full and productive employment and decent work for all, access to reproductive health, access to treatment for HIV/AIDS, and protection of biodiversity. The indicators for these new targets became effective in January 2008, and this is the framework used here to monitor progress toward achieving the MDGs.

Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

Commentary for Goal 1

Extreme poverty declined substantially in the region and given current trends, 17 out of the 24 economies for which data are available are expected to achieve the poverty target by 2015. While this is a 70% success in terms of the number of countries, it is likely that both Bangladesh and India might miss the poverty target. Despite these gains, hunger is still widespread, with more than 40% of children in Bangladesh and India being underweight. Most economies are likely to miss the target of cutting the proportion of underweight children by half.

Table 1.1 Target 1.A: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day XLS
Table 1.2 Target 1.B: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people XLS
Table 1.3 Target 1.C: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger XLS

Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

Commentary for Goal 2

Enrollment ratios in primary schools are 95% or higher in 18 economies but in Nepal and Pakistan, the ratios are below 80%. Enrollment is only the first step to formal schooling and progress in completing a full course of primary school is slow in many economies. Only 13 are expected to meet the target—and Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia are among those making slow progress.

Table 2.1 Target 2.A: Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling XLS

Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

Commentary for Goal 3

Most economies have or are expected to reach the target of gender parity in both primary education (37 out of 43) and secondary education (33 out of 42). There is less success in tertiary education, nevertheless, 21 out of 35 economies have already achieved parity or are expected to do so by 2015. There are wide disparities in women's and men's access to wage employment outside agriculture, with particularly low rates in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and India.

Table 3.1 Target 3.A: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education not later than 2015 XLS

Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality

Commentary for Goal 4

Good progress has been achieved in reducing under-five child mortality rates, although in most economies, gains are not enough to meet the target of reducing the rates by two-thirds. Only 10 economies are likely to meet the target. Bangladesh has done best among the five most populous economies in reducing child mortality by 65%; the People's Republic of China is next with a drop of 58%; followed by Indonesia, 55%; India, 45%; and Pakistan, 33%.

Table 4.1 Target 4.A: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate XLS

Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health

Commentary for Goal 5

Progress to reduce by three-quarters the maternal mortality ratio has seen some success but wide disparities remain. Only four economies, among them the People's Republic of China, are expected to achieve the target. Twelve economies still have above 100 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in contrast to often less than 10 per 100,000 live births in developed economies. The target to reduce by three-quarters the number of births not attended by a skilled health professional has been achieved by 11 economies, and five more are expected to do so. Others, including Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan are lagging.

Table 5.1 Target 5.A: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio XLS
Table 5.2 Target 5.B: Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health XLS

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

Commentary for Goal 6

HIV/AIDS is particularly a problem in Southeast Asia. There has been substantial improvement in providing access to antiretroviral treatment since 2004 but no economy has achieved universal access and only four economies had achieved 60% or better coverage by 2009. These included Thailand, which has the highest rate of HIV infection in the region, Cambodia, and the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

Table 6.1 Target 6.A: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS XLS
Table 6.2 Target 6.B: Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it XLS
Table 6.3 Target 6.C: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases XLS

Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability

Commentary for Goal 7

Between 1990 and 2010, deforestation increased in several economies. On the other hand, percentages of land and marine areas protected to maintain biological diversity increased in almost all. Economies are having more success with providing improved drinking water than with improved sanitation. Improved sanitation is much less accessible in rural areas, and only 50% of the population in Asia and the Pacific uses improved sanitation facilities.

Table 7.1 Target 7.A: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources XLS
Table 7.2 Target 7.B: Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss XLS
Table 7.3 Target 7.C: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation XLS
Table 7.4 Target 7.D: By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers XLS

Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

Commentary for Goal 8

In most economies of the region, debt service as a percentage of exports of goods and services has fallen substantially. Fixed telephone line subscriptions have also grown along with enormous growth in cellular phone subscriptions. Internet use has grown considerably, but disparities between the rich and the poor economies are striking, with less than 10 users per 100 population in 17 economies, compared to 75 users per 100 population in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea.

Table 8.1 Target 8.D: Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term XLS
Table 8.2 Target 8.F: In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications XLS