Millions of lives saved through shared development goals

’Taking stock as we approach the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, we can celebrate tremendous progress,’ said Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and co-chair of the MDG Advocacy Group.

‘The number of people living in extreme poverty has been halved, and so has child and maternal deaths. Together we have saved millions of lives. Shared goals are key in this remarkable collective achievement,’ said Erna Solberg.

The ambitious Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were developed by the UN member states in 2000. Today, the final progress report on the eight global goals was launched in Oslo by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

‘In a crowded classroom in Malawi last year I saw the excitement in the eyes of young girls fulfilling their dreams of an education. A dream that had been out of reach for their mothers. We have seen enormous progress towards Gender equality in education. However, much remains to be done concerning secondary and higher education. Norway will double its funding for education, giving priority to girls and to children in crisis and conflicts,’ said Ms Solberg.

Despite the progress, some 800 million people still live in extreme poverty and suffer from hunger. States with violence, marginalized minorities, corruption and poor education services lag behind in reaching the goals.

‘Poverty and climate change are among the greatest challenges of our time. Without sustainability, we will not be able to achieve the other development goals. The adoption of the new sustainable development goals (SDGs) at the UN General Assembly in September will be vital for meeting these challenges,’ said Ms Solberg.

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