Speaking at the UN forum, national leaders expressed pleasure at the achievements from implementing the eight MDGs, especially efforts to reduce poverty, increase the rate of children attending school, raise the number of people with access to clean water, and curb epidemics.
These successes were achieved in even some of the poorest countries, which proves the MDGs are feasible. Vietnam has halved its rate of poverty, from over 58 percent in 1993 to about 29 percent in 2002 and to 14.5 percent in 2008. Ghana slashed its poverty rate by three quarters, from 34 percent to just 9 percent, and ten other African countries have also halved their numbers of extreme poor.
UN Chief Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to safeguard the advancements that have been made because many of them are fragile.
At the UN meeting, countries shared their difficulties and highlighted obstacles on their way to the MDGs, including little time, scarce resources, climate change, the economic crisis, natural calamities, and armed conflicts.
A report says that the 2008 economic and financial meltdown drove 60 million people into poverty.
A number of African countries called on the West to take more action and argued that meetings and negotiations could not help them attain MDGs; they urged the international community to immediately realize the signed agreements.
Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba said his country is facing a cut in international development aid because it has been placed among middle-income countries and he called on international financial institutions to create a special mechanism for countries like Namibia to get preferential financial assistance for long-term development.
At the meeting, Ban Ki-moon highlighted the fact that countries continue to uphold their previous commitments despite the current difficult global context. Governments, charities, and private groups have pledged US$40 billion for initiatives on improving women’s and children’s health. EU countries pledged to contribute one billion euros to the UN poverty reduction fund while France pledged to donate 60-360 million euros to the AIDS and malaria treatment fund.
The presence of President Nguyen Minh Triet reiterated that Vietnam is always an active member which contributes proactively to the settlement of great challenges to humankind. In front of all the representatives of the 192 UN member states, President Triet stated that Vietnam had accomplished many of its MDGs before schedule and could attain the rest by 2015.
Vietnam’s efforts to implement the MDGs by incorporating them into the development strategies and programmes at all levels, which was highly valued by other countries.
Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said the UN Secretary General praised Vietnam as one of the countries that had achieved and exceeded the MDGs and the speech by the Vietnamese President won special attention from many countries, especially those in Africa.
Mr Minh said the president stressed that maintaining peace, stability and cooperation created favourable conditions for countries to achieve their MDGs.
In the meetings with the Vietnamese delegation, leaders of African countries highly appreciated Vietnam’s accomplishments and expressed their wish to learn about Vietnam’s experiences in agricultural development and poverty alleviation.