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
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".