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Christian Aid praises progress

11 October 2013

UN/EVAN SCHNEIDER

Learning: a  child at Dindi Primary School in Mwandama Millennium Village, Malawi, in 2010. Several African ministers reported positive progress in children's education 

Learning: a  child at Dindi Primary School in Mwandama Millennium Village, Malawi, in 2010. Several African ministers reported positive progres...

CHRISTIAN AID has welcomed a series of breakthroughs in discussions last week at the UN on what should replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2016.

The charity's Senior Adviser on Poverty and Inequality, Helen Dennis, warned, however, that there were still challenges ahead. She said last week: "The major breakthroughs include the recognition that all countries, including rich ones, should have to work towards the new goals, and that there should be only one set of goals covering both poverty and environmental protection.

"Also very welcome is the acceptance that, whilst all countries are responsible for protecting the en-vironment, rich, high-consuming ones must do more. . .

"We will have to keep fighting for goals that drive the kind of structural transformation we want to see. The new goals could affect billions of people's lives, including those living in poverty in the UK; so getting them right could not be more important."

In a session of the UN General Assembly, however, several African ministers said that, while progress had been made, most were unlikely to achieve their MDGs by 2015.

The Congolese Minister of Foreign Affairs and La Francophonie, Basile Ikouébé, said that his country had made significant progress in education, and maternal and child health, but had delays in job-creation and the fight against poverty.

The President of Tanzania, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, claimed successes in universal primary education, reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, and improving access to water and sanitation.

The President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, said that his country was on track to achieve its target for education. He surprised the assembly, however, when, in listing the three biggest threats to human existence, he included homosexuality, "which, though very evil, anti-human as well as anti-Allah, is being promoted as a human right by some powers".

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