Pretoria – While there is progress in achieving the MDGs, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says more still needs to be done, especially among developing and least developed countries, to achieve the goals.
Speaking at the Millennium Development Goals follow-up ministerial meeting held in Japan on Friday, the minister acknowledged that there have been several initiatives aimed at reviewing progress, identifying gaps and intensifying commitments towards the achievement of the MDGs by 2015.
However, she warned that there is a real danger that some of the MDGs targets might not be realised.
“We are in full agreement that human security and human development should represent the ultimate measure of our MDGs. Despite this, we all need to be aware that MDGs are more than time-bound, quantified targets for poverty alleviation.
“They … also represent a commitment by all members of the international community to an enlarged notion of development based on the recognition that human development is key to sustaining social and economic progress,” said Nkoana-Mashabane.
She said momentum must be maintained and common political commitment increased to ensure the goals became a reality.
The minister further warned that despite the general optimism about Africa’s prospects – especially in view of the continent’s increased economic growth, renewed regional and national political commitments to good governance and fewer conflicts – there is a dark cloud hanging over the possibility of the continent attaining the MDGs.
“Studies are predicting that given the current trends with less than five years towards 2015, Africa is unlikely to achieve every single one of the MDGs. We need to leave this MDG follow-up meeting determined to ensure that Africa receives our collective support as a true demonstration of the fact that MDGs are underwritten by principles of co-responsibility and partnership,” she said.
She also commended the World Bank and UN agencies, especially the UN Development Programme and UNICEF, for their supporting role towards the realisation of the MDGs.
Nkoana-Mashabane stressed the need to collectively identify and unblock the various bottlenecks where the countries are not doing.
“We need to strengthen partnerships in the knowledge that no single actor (be it a state or non-state actor or international organization) can single-handedly bring about the necessary change. As governments, we really need to invest and demonstrate our political will in making sure the MDGs are achieved. – BuaNews