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Sep 29th
Home Community RP Government Updates PGMA Reaffirms RP's Commitment to Achieving MDG Targets by 2015
PGMA Reaffirms RP's Commitment to Achieving MDG Targets by 2015 PDF Print E-mail
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Communities - RP Government Updates
Sunday, 28 September 2008 01:17

P resident Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitments to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015 in her speech delivered on Thursday (10 a.m. NY time) at the United Nations. She presented the Country Report that summarized the progress made by the Philippines in eliminating poverty.

The special MDG meeting of heads of states, representatives of the private sector and the civil society at the United Nations (UN) headquarters here will be convened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.


To be discussed at the high-level MDG event are specific ways to energize the efforts of all UN-member nations in achieving the MDG. This year marks the halfway point of the MDG.


As she did in her address during the opening session of the 63rd UN General Assembly (UNGA) last Tuesday, the President is expected to set out concrete plans and practical actions to be taken by the Philippines to ensure the country’s compliance with the MDG target date.


In her address before the opening session of the 2008 UNGA, the President enumerated specific actions that the Philippine government has taken and continues to take to weather the high prices of oil and food in the global market.


The high-level MDG meeting will also review the progress, identify gaps, and commit to concrete efforts, resources and mechanisms to bridge the gaps.


The President is expected to report on the highlights of the progress made by the Philippines in achieving the goal since the Oct. 2007 midterm report on the MDG.


The midterm report, which was prepared by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), stated that the Philippines ''has made considerable progress particularly in poverty reduction, nutrition, reducing child mortality, combating AIDS and HIV, malaria and other diseases and access to safe drinking water and sanitary toilet facility.”


However, the report said that the Philippines needs to work harder on targets concerning universal access to education, maternal mortality and access to reproductive health services.


The Philippines is a signatory to the 2000 Millennium Declaration that rolled out the time-bound MDGs as a global agenda for development by 2015.


The eight MDGs are: halve poverty and hunger; universal primary education; gender equality; reduce child mortality; improved women's health; stop and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases; environmental sustainability; and global partnerships for aid, trade and debt relief.


The Millennium Declaration was signed by 189 member states, including the Philippines.


Earlier the President attended the Women Leaders Meeting at the Waldorf Hotel.


The President and US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice had a few minutes of one-on-one meeting, Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said.


The President, who will leave New York for Manila after the UN event tomorrow is expected to arrive in Manila on Saturday morning.


* * * * *


Weekly Summary of Press Releases - September 26, 2008


President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo reaffirmed the Philippines' commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015 in the special MDG meeting at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York.


The meeting is attended by heads of states, representatives of the private sector and the civil society, and will discuss specific ways to energize the efforts of all UN member nations in achieving the MDG.


The President is set to deliver the Country Report on the progress made by the Philippines in eliminating poverty, and to expound on the concrete plans and practical actions to be taken by the country to ensure its compliance with the MDG target date.


In her address during the opening session of the 63rd UN General Assembly (UNGA) earlier, the President spoke on the steps that the Philippine Government is taking to weather the high prices of food and oil in the global market, including efforts to wean the country away from dependence on fossil fuel.


The President also thanked “friends and allies” for helping to bring about peace in Mindanao, and expressed her administration’s commitment to the UN-recognized principle of demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR).  She further underscored the Philippines’ contributions to world peace, pointing out that the country has one of the largest police contingents to UN Peacekeeping Operations.


The President seeks to strengthen the Philippines' bilateral relations with UN member states and other organizations, such as the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), in order to more effectively address peace and development issues.


In a bilateral meeting with OIC Secretary General Edmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the President received the OIC’s assurance that it will support any effort or political settlement of the conflict in Mindanao "only within the context of Philippine sovereign integrity", saying that it will not allow crossing that line. 


The President briefed the OIC official on the latest peace efforts, particularly  her policy shift from negotiations with the MILF to direct consultations with the affected communities and other stakeholders. 


Meanwhile, Citicorp CEO Bill Rhodes commended the President for putting in place reforms in the Philippines, saying the unprecedented financial crunch roiling the US economy showed she was right in instituting tough economic and financial reforms.  Rhodes said she possessed the "toughness of a leader who can probably do what is necessary to stem the tide if it will reach the Philippines".


The CEO advised the President to watch inflation as it is going to have a long-term effect in the face of the continuing volatility in the global market, amid an impending shift from financials to commodities.


* * * * *


OIC Pledges All-out Support for Mindanao Development 


NEW YORK CITY --The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), without the Philippines asking, has offered its support for the economic development of Mindanao in the form of specific projects and funding assistance that could improve the lives of the people in Southern Philippines.


This was revealed today by Press Secretary Jesus Dureza after newly-elected OIC Secretary General Elmeddin Ihsanoglu appeared to be convinced that the government's handling of the situation in Mindanao is right.


Ihsanoglu told President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during their bilateral meeting that ''peace can be attained only if the people's lives are improved;'' to which the President agreed.


President Arroyo had bilateral talks here with heads of state of many countries, big and small.


In the case of the OIC, it was Ihsanoglu who initiated the meeting with the President.


Dureza said Ihsanoglu appeared to be well-informed about developments in Mindanao even before President Arroyo briefed him on chain of events that led to the cancellation of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain, the dissolution of the government peace panel and the military and police operations against rogue MILF elements responsible for the atrocities committed against civilians in some areas of Mindanao.


The OIC Ihsanoglu said will exert efforts to consolidate the various Bangsa Moro factions.


''We will do our role to consolidate the different factions and help in the socio-economic development of Mindanao and improve the life of the people in the area because there can't be peace without economic development,” Ihsanoglu said.


Explaining the big shift in her policy on the Mindanao conflict, the President told the OIC head that in the political settlement, ''we will conduct dialogues with the communities and stakeholders and then decide what steps to be taken.''


These steps, she added, must be in the context of the United Nations-accepted principle of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR).


Secretary Dureza, a former Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, said the conduct of DDR under the accepted principle of the UN means ''not outright disarmament.


“Outright disarmament,” Dureza said, means another thing.


“You have first to develop an environment of trust so that rebels and the communities that have been in conflict will develop a little trust so that eventually there will be no need for those firearms,'' he pointed out.


Like what they did in Northern Ireland, President Arroyo once again said, ''we have to undergo the experiences of Northern Ireland.''


Ihsanoglu also told the President that the OIC supports any effort to reach a peaceful settlement of the Mindanao conflict but such any such effort must be based on respect for the sovereign integrity of the Philippines and that he would not allow that that line is crossed.


It means, Dureza said, that the OIC respects the efforts of the Philippines to reach a political settlement of the Mindanao issue but not in the context of cession or independence but within the context of Philippine territorial and sovereign integrity. # # #


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Last Updated on Sunday, 28 September 2008 02:26

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