The existing target on developing decent and productive work for youth, now under Millennium Development Goal 8, would be encompassed by the new target. Technical work to select the appropriate indicators would be undertaken by the Inter-agency and Expert Group on MDG Indicators. In this work, the system will be able to build on the Ministerial Declaration on Employment Generation and Decent Work adopted at the 2006 session of the Economic and Social Council, which calls for the development of 10-year action plans and assigns the Council a clear role in monitoring progress in its implementation.
As emphasized in Monterrey, commitments can be implemented only if backed by adequate international financing. The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative endorsed the cancellation of debts to the African Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for those countries that completed the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative. Worth approximately $50 billion in face value, this debt relief is projected to save qualifying countries more than $1 billion per year in debtservicing payments over the coming decade.
....16 of 22 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Assistance Committee have now either met the official development assistance target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income or set timetables for doing so by 2015. In May 2005, the 15 Development Assistance Committee members that are members of the European Union each agreed to meet a minimum target of 0.51 per cent of gross national income by 2010, en route to 0.7 per cent by 2015. Admirably, Member States that joined the European Union after 2002 set a development assistance target of 0.33 per cent of gross national income by 2015.
The Group of Eight summit held in Gleneagles, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, built on this momentum with an agreement to augment total annual development assistance by $50 billion by 2010, with half of the increase directed to Africa. An increasing number of donors are meeting the target to provide at least 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of their gross national income to assist the least developed countries, and official development assistance...has thus increased sharply in recent years. Innovative sources of financing have also been explored and various initiatives are being implemented.
If history judges 2005 for its promises, then 2006 must be judged on implementation....So far the record is mixed. The words of 2005 have yet to have a direct impact on the lives of the poor people they are meant to help. Nor have they produced the implementation breakthroughs required to achieve the MDGs. The challenges remain most pressing in Africa, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, where the proportion of people living in extreme poverty is essentially unchanged since 1990...
There has been progress, however.... International malaria control efforts are gathering speed, backed by increased donor assistance; momentum is under way to launch the African Green Revolution agreed upon at the 2005 World Summit; and recent global commitments have also prompted new notions of investment scale-up to tackle broader development priorities. To ensure that Member States can respond to their countries’ development priorities, last year I personally wrote to all Heads of State and Government offering United Nations assistance and support. I am heartened to note that the United Nations country teams are currently helping many countries to prepare and implement MDG-based national development strategies.
Putting the MDGs into action, the United Nations has collaborated with governments and other stakeholders to support so-called millennium villages throughout Africa. The project began with a single village in Sauri, Kenya, in August 2004 and has expanded to 12 sites. Among other successes, the villages are transforming themselves from areas of chronic hunger, tripling their crop production in a short time. Using scientific technology and understanding the agro-ecological zones of the areas, villagers are now able to sell their produce in nearby markets.