Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Asian and European leaders confirm sticking with MDG's

A two day conference between Asian and European leaders resulted in a declaration that the continents will still strive to meet the Millenium Development Goals, despite the global recession. Many countries are far behind on meeting the goals, and the recession has only made them fall further.

From ABS-CBN News, reporter Michelle Orosa attended the conference.

Thirteen Asian countries, 16 European countries, the European Comission, eight international organizations and 10 civil society organizations attended the two-day conference.

Of these 13 countries, Richelle said 5 to 7 were having more difficulty than the rest in following through with the MDG goals.

"Thanks to efforts from India and China, development has progressed significantly in the region. But this has not spread to the whole of Asia," he noted.

Richelle declined to name the countries, but according to a background study submitted for the 2009 ASEM entitled, "Development Challenges and Opportunities," cited as lagging behind other countries in fulfilling several aspects of the MDGs are Cambodia, India, Mongolia, Pakistan, Myanmar Laos, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The Philippines, in particular, was cited for lagging in the goals of halving the number of people living under $1 a day, improving quality of teaching and learning conditions, and improving access to health services.

Rolando Tungpalan, Deputy Director General for the National Economic Development Authority admitted that there was much to improve in the areas cited, but he maintains the government is committed to keeping the country on track to meet its MDG goals by 2015.

Richelle added there are currently 3 factors the ASEM is watching out for in achieving the MDG goals: Volatility in the prices of commodities, slowdown in remittance volumes as the crisis affect job prospects of migrant labor, and the amount of money available for official development assistance.

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