President Paul Kagame on Tuesday chaired the Fourth Meeting of the Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group and MDGs Advocate Innovation Forum to examine the Advocacy action plan for the coming year.
The event was part of a series of meetings held under the auspices of the 68th United Nations General Assembly currently underway in New York.
Kagame, co-chair of the MDGs Advocacy Group, expressed the need to accelerate the mobilisation and deployment of resources towards meeting the MDGs, according to a statement from the President’s office.
“MDG advocates should not allow progress made against absolute poverty to be lost to information poverty, as pockets of communities are left out because connectivity infrastructure is either absent, limited or too expensive,” the President said.
He added, “Over the last decade, we have observed that MDGs have been reached in countries with inclusive and accountable governance. They have however been delayed, where the MDGs were outside a domestic development agenda and not locally owned.
“And so the relevance and sustainability of development programmes can only be guaranteed by a nationally-driven process.”
With just 828 days to the 2015 deadline, many of the millennium development goals are yet to be fulfilled, especially in many developing countries.
The MDGs are eight goals launched in September 2000, which some 193 UN member states agreed to achieve by the year 2015 in order to encourage development by improving socio-economic conditions in the world's poorest countries.
In Rwanda, figures from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda indicate that the country is on course to meeting five of the MDGs.
These include; access to universal primary education, promotion of gender equality and women empowerment, reduction of maternal and child mortality rates, and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Yesterday’s meeting in New York was attended by over 20 advocators including the head of the UN Foundation, Ted Turner, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Malaria, Ray Chambers, top American economist and Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Jeffrey David Sachs, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus.
Participants also discussed the challenges and the successes of the MDGs so far.