Sumario: From 20-22 September 2010, the United Nations will hold a High-Level Plenary Meeting (HLPM) on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to assess the progress made since the Millennium Declaration in 2000 and to address the remaining challenges. On this occasion, the EU will be represented by Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs.
In advance of this major summit, the Council of the European Union adopted on 14 June 2010 conclusions that constitute the EU position in view of this important event. On 17 June, the European Council recalled the determination of the EU to support the achievement of the MDGs globally by 2015.
In September 2000, building upon a decade of major United Nations conferences and summits, world leaders came together to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets - with a deadline of 2015 -, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The eight MDGs - which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education - have been adopted by the international community as a framework for the development activities of over 190 countries in ten regions and they have been articulated into over 20 targets and over 60 indicators.
The EU has further demonstrated its commitment to support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals through the "EU Agenda for Action on MDGs" endorsed by the European Council in June 2008. The EU Agenda identifies priority actions needed in key areas like education, environment, health, water and sanitation, agriculture, pro-poor growth, infrastructure and gender equality. The EU proposes to its partners in development to share this Agenda for Action, which should also be taken into account in the context of the common AU-EU-Africa Strategy and its different partnerships adopted at the Lisbon Summit.
In light of progress made in some countries and areas, the EU is convinced that all MDGs can still be attained in all regions of the world, provided that concerted action be taken immediately and in a sustained way until 2015. However, in terms of achievement of the MDGs, the EU is seriously concerned about the trend in many countries and regions, in particular sub-Saharan Africa,where, on recent developments no country is likely to achieve all of the Goal.
The current state of progress confirms that, if the targets set out for the Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved in 2015, strong commitment by governments, the adoption of sound policies, public investment strategies in key sectors and increasing support from the international community are crucial and an additional effort in favour of Africa is essential. Moreover, as reiterated in the last Council Conclusions on Supporting developing countries in coping with the crisis, the Council recognises that the impact of the ongoing crisis reinforces the need for particular attention to those MDGs where least progress has been made (according the UN MDG report of 2008, MDG 1 - "Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger" -and MDG 5 - "Improve maternal health").