In September, world leaders will meet at the UN for a summit to discuss strategies for achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals by 2015. In the meantime, the UN is kicking into high gear with a number of events, reports and behind-the-scenes politiking over the MDGs. (And rest assured, we are planning some special coverage of all the MDG action on UN Dispatch this summer). Yesterday, Ban Ki Moon kicked off what I am calling the summer of the MDGs with a report taking stock of progress–and sometimes lack thereof–on achieving each of the eight goals.
The report shows that there are a number of verifiable successes, particularly in cutting by half the number of people living in extreme poverty, acheiving universal primary school enrollment, and fighting infectious diseases:
Still, progress has been uneven. Countries in sub-saharan Africa tend to lag behind other developing countries in many of the indicators used in the MDGs. The global financial crisis has also taken a toll on global efforts to acheive the MDGs. From the report: