Commentary: The MDGs as tools for nation-building in the 21st century
By Freddie G. Lazaro
Vigan City (October 24) -- To address the rising social issues that affect the civil societies in the world, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted by members of the United Nations as blueprint for building a better world in the 21st century.
The MDGs represent a global partnership that has grown from the commitments and targets established in the world summits of the 1990s. The goals include promotion of poverty reduction, education, maternal health, gender equality, and aim at combating child mortality, AIDS and other diseases.
All goals were set to be achieve until 2015 as poor countries have pledged to govern better, and invest in their people through health care and education, while, rich countries have pledged to support them, through aid, debt relief, and fairer trade.
For its part, the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) is working with a wide range of partners to help create coalitions for change to support the goals at global, regional and national levels, to benchmark progress towards them, and to help countries to build the institutional capacity, policies and programmes needed to achieve the MDGs.
Last October 15 and 16, a total of 23,542,614 participants were recorded in the 11,646 events around the globe during the UN's Millennium Campaign “Stand Up Against Poverty.”
The "Stand Up" is part of the global call to "Action against Poverty" around the world to raise awareness on the MDGs and to publicly demonstrate to policy makers the growing global support for the eradication of poverty.
In the Philippines, the government is making good progress in the pursuit of the MDGs as acknowledged by the UNDP country representative Nileema Noble in a recent meeting with President Gloria Arroyo.
The country is on track to meet the MDG targets to cut poverty substantially by 2015 on the back of rising incomes, more jobs, better schools and broader social services. With the economy on a roll, the country now has more resources to give more and better basic services for the poor.
Incremental collections are not only earmarked for infrastructure but to public elementary and secondary education, health insurance premiums, environmental conservation and agricultural modernization—all of which form part of the MDGs.
The Arroyo administration continues to intensify the poverty relief programs such as the Botika ng Bayan and Tindahang Bayan, DSWD’s food for work program, DA-ATIs farm and fishery family extension program, CDA’s cooperative thrusts, and microfinance schemes.
Aside from the poverty relief programs, the Government also continues its countryside pump priming vis-à-vis the super region approach, the promotion of TESDA's technical-vocational education and the ladderization program, the granting of mainstream scholarship and financial assistance to deserving but poor students, and the augmentation of the limited funds of the 112 SUCs. (PIA-Ilocos Sur) [top]