“We must give our full attention to achieving the Millennium Development Goals that are lagging behind,” Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala said the UN Special Event towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals in New York on 25 September. “We must deliver on the commitments made.”
To emphasise the commitment to and importance of the Millennium Development Goals, Finland is increasing its input towards achieving objectives in gender equality, maternity and children’s rights and sanitation. Development Minister Hautala announced in New York that next year, Finland will double its funding for UN Women, the United Nations gender equality organisation, to 14 million euros. In addition, this year Finland is increasing its funding for UNFPA – the UN Population Fund and UNICEF – the United Nations Children’s Fund.
Some of the Millennium Development Goals have been achieved: the number of people living in extreme poverty has been halved, two billion people have received access to clean water and the quality of life has improved for more than 200 million slum-dwellers. A decline in tuberculosis, alleviating the debt burden of developing countries and placing new technologies at the disposal of developing countries will all be achieved by the deadline.
The progress made in reaching the goals is uneven. The very poorest and people living in rural areas fare the worst. It is clear that the present funding is not enough to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. With additional measures and more money it is possible to attain the goals pertaining to hunger, gender equality in secondary schools and higher education, infant and maternal mortality, malaria and HIV and AIDS.
The follow-up meeting on the Millennium Development Goals held in New York during the opening week of the UN General Assembly was the last in its series. Only a little over 800 days remain to the deadline for the goals, which was set in 2000.
Additional information: Milma Kettunen, Press Attaché to Minister Heidi Hautala, mobile tel. +358 40 522 9869