Interview: Oxfam director warns against pessimism in meeting MDG targets

09:49, June 17, 2010      

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by Laila Kabbaj

The UN General Assembly on Tuesday wrapped up two days of informal interactive hearings with members of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society groups and the private sector on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The informal hearings are part of the preparation for a high- level summit on the status of the MDGs set to take place in September at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The Pan-Africa director to Oxfam International, Irungu Houghton, told Xinhua in a recent interview that he expects to see "clear, measurable timelines and costed plans for meeting the MDGs" as the outcome of the September summit.

The MDGs were established by the Millennium Declaration in 2000, in which 189 United Nations member states agreed to achieve eight development goals by the year 2015. The goals include time-bound targets for reducing extreme poverty and child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics and for promoting gender equality, education and environmental sustainability.

As the clock ticks closer to the deadline, the prospects for success have been confronted with challenges and insufficient progress in meeting MDG targets.

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