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Multilateral agencies promote political consensus in Latin America and the Caribbean to achieve the millennium development goals

BRASILIA - The Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean reiterated their support for the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to establish the bases for a renewed political consensus focused on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

On November 16 and 17 in the City of Brasilia, the four multilateral agencies joined the government of Brazil in sponsoring an international conference bringing together high-level representatives of governments, parliaments and civil society organizations of the region and the international community.

The conference is seeking to strengthen the commitments made by the countries of the region and the international community at the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000, which were recently reaffirmed in the Monterrey Consensus. At the same time, the conference wishes to make progress in defining the role that the various parties will play in their joint efforts aimed at achieving the objectives set by the MDGs. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and other regional Heads of State are also attending the conference.

The MDGs set for the year 2015 plan to halve extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education and gender equality, reduce the under-five mortality rate and maternal health by two thirds and three quarters, respectively, halt the spreading of HIV/AIDS and malaria, guarantee environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development with goals for outside assistance, relief of the debt burden, trade and transfer of technology.

The four international agencies believe that the countries of the region can achieve a large number of the MDGs with decisive action for the inclusion of those marginalized from the development process. The region has started the new century with many achievements, such as their adherence to democratic systems, responsible macroeconomic policies and important reforms to promote economic growth. It is the only developing region where girls do not face a disadvantage with regard to education and have greater hope for life. However, there continue to be significant challenges such as reversing the recent rise in poverty in a large number of countries, reducing infant malnutrition and gender differences in the labor market and in political participation opportunities and improving access to basic water and sanitary services in low-income countries and the poorest regions of countries with middle incomes.

To achieve the MDGs implies a strong commitment both of the countries and the international community to promote principally: i) conditions that lead to a sustained growth, improving access of the poor to basic social services and eliminating the high levels of inequality and exclusion in the region; ii) national strategies that incorporate the equality, gender, ethnic and cultural factors of the MDGs and closely tie themselves to the national processes of formulating and implementing the budget; iii) monitoring systems geared at measuring and evaluating results and which provide increased transparency, accountability and incentives for good performance; and iv) a more effective coordination of countries’ efforts and the support provided by the international community.

MDGs offer a general framework for combining our efforts around common development goals, suitable for the specific realities of each country. A renewed consensus focused on the MDGs should rest on an agreement of all players (governments, parliaments, civil society and the international community) with shared responsibilities in the implementation of actions aimed at achieving the MDGs and at monitoring the progress made in reaching the goals.

The meeting in Brasilia is part of the collaboration among the four international agencies to implement specific joint support activities to countries of the region for the implementation and achievement of the MDGs. This collaboration also includes regional activities for evaluating progress made in achieving the goals and joint support for the preparation of progress reports by the countries.

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