Thursday, June 16, 2011

The UN: Social Benefits Arise From Investing In Poverty

Despite the global financial crisis and the austerity measures taken as a result, the Deputy Secretary General, Asha-Rose Migiro stressed that development gains need to be protected. Migiro argued for the importance of the Millennium Development Goals in her address to the General Assembly's Development Dialogue.

"We must look for multiplier effects wherever we can. And none is more dramatic, none is more proven, than investments in health and of women and children," she stated. And she couldn't be more dead on. Social benefits arise and progress is generated as a result of investment in poverty reduction programs.

Migiro stressed the importance of these programs. "Healthy women deliver and bring up healthy children who then attend school and become a part of a healthy work force that creates a prosperous society."

Last year partner countries committed to the development goals pledged more than $40 billion for the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health. It is clear that the international community has mobilized greater commitment towards the MDG goals in recent years. However, it was acknowledged by General Assembly President Joseph Deiss, that despite the positive developments, many low income and developing countries have not been touched.

This begs the question of whether the UN will meet the Millennium Development Goals by the target deadline of 2015?

Right now, it is impossible to tell. However, the results are clear, making tangible differences for the lives of the poor improves the society as a whole.

With the deadline fast approaching, Ms. Migiro stressed the need to look at what lays beyond 2015. "Even a decade ago, we knew that achieving the MDG's would in a sense be only half the job. We knew that there would still be a backlog of depravation. It is time to look at those numbers and at those peoples that remain in depravations and who will therefore need our attention come 2016."

"The ultimate goal is to transform economies and societies of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) so that the LDC category ceases to exist"

-Gabrielle Gurian