MDG Forum to focus on extreme poverty

Kathmandu, October 5 :

More than 100 delegates from eight different South Asian countries, meeting in the capital next week, are expected to develop a ‘roadmap’ to eradicate extreme poverty in South Asia by 2015.

High-ranking government ministers, policymakers, representatives of civil society, business leaders, academics and the media will gather at the South Asian MDG Forum, scheduled for October 11 and 12, at the Soaltee Crown Plaza in Kathmandu to discuss how South Asia can put an end to development problems and work toward meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Participants will include Kim Hak-Su, United Nations under-secretary-general and UNESCAP executive secretary; Matthew Kahane, UN resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative in Nepal; and Sultan Hafeez Rahman, ADB deputy director general of its South Asia Department.

As part of the Forum, the MDG Media Awards will be launched at a press conference on October 11. Open to broadcast producers and journalists in print, radio and television media in the Asia-Pacific region, the awards carry a $7,000 winning prize and $2,000 runners-up prize. The awards aim to recognise the important role that the media play in creating public awareness of the MDGs and encourage increased reporting on the ‘human’ story behind the MDGs.

The meeting is organised under the auspices of the tripartite initiative between the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia- Pacific (UNESCAP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Asian Development Bank.

South Asia, one of the world’s dynamic regions, has made good progress toward achieving the MDGs. According to the UN, none of the countries in South Asia is on track to meet all the goals by 2015.

The MDGs are the world’s time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions — income, poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion - while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability.