Expert Group Meeting on assessing the integration of the MDGs in national development strategies, plans and programmes in selected LDCs, LLDCs and SIDs and way forward
The recently launched Asia-Pacific Regional MDGs Report 2011/12, “Accelerating Equitable Achievement of the MDGs: Closing Gaps in Health and Nutrition Outcome”, prepared under the ESCAP/ADB/UNDP regional MDG partnership, showed remarkable progress in MDG targets in the region. However, the report also showed that none of the countries of the region will reach all the targets by 2015 and that several countries, particularly amongst countries with special needs (CSN) (i.e., the least developed countries, the landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states), are off-track in achieving the MDGs. The Istanbul Programme of Action for the LDCs for the Decade 2011-2020, among other things, also concluded that the least developed countries have, in general, lagged behind others in achieving the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals.
The Regional MDG report also drew attention to the need to narrow the gaps in particular in health related MDG indicators, which are behind in many countries in the region. Highlighting disparities of achievement in health related indicators, the report examined the factors driving the disparities which could in turn become key to reduce the gaps.
For some of the targets, many countries are just a step behind the attainment targets. For instance, all the off-track countries in the region including 4 Least Developed Countries (Bhutan, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Nepal) could meet the child nutrition target by 2015 by reducing the prevalence of underweight children by 2 percentage point per year.
To reach the goals by 2015, countries will also need to step up their efforts to replicate good practices and learn lessons from early achievers in the region, while within LDCs there are wealth of experiences to share in their remarkable progress in some areas. Furthermore, the Roadmap for the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) also called for mainstreaming the IPoA into LDCs’ national development plans and strategies.
In view of the above and to assist the developing countries in the region, ESCAP has undertaken a series of activities under the project entitled Supporting Millennium Development Goals (MDG)-based development strategies through integrated regional action to promote policy options and good practices in integrating MDGs in national development strategies, plans and programmes, including:
- Advocacy Training Workshop for LDCs in Achieving MDGs as Part of the Implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action;
- 18-20 April 2012, Kathmandu, Nepal
- 25–28 October 2011 in Siem Riap, Cambodia.
- Beyond inflation targets: Policy options and instruments for managing equitable growth and human development, 19-22 December 2011 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- Sub-regional Workshop for LDCs in Achieving MDGs as Part of the Implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (South-East Asia/East and North-East Asia), 14-16 September 2011 in Republic of Korea.
- Partnership Dialogue on Developing and Implementing MDG-based National Development Strategies in Asia-Pacific Countries, 13-15 December 2010 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The meeting aims to evaluate the impact of the activities undertaken under the Development Account project described above in light of challenges faced by the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, as well as to formulate recommendations for future activities. Moreover, the meeting is expected to discuss on the way forward for these countries to accelerate progress in achieving the MDGs and discuss the key issues that may feature in the post 2015 development agenda.
In summary, the main objectives of the Expert Group Meeting are:
- To evaluate the impact of the activities undertaken under the Development Account project in light of challenges faced by LDCs and formulate key recommendations in light of experience gathered.
- To discuss the remaining challenges and way forward for accelerating MDGs and formulating a post-2015 development agenda.
Selected policy makers and practitioners, in particular from LDCs, who have participated in the meetings/workshops organized under the project described above.