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96. Ms Lene Mikkelsen presented the document APCAS/02/8, "Millennium Development Goals for Asia and the Pacific". The Commission was informed that in the 1950s and 1960s the development goal was basically to increase growth through capital formation and that development was measured by indicators such as GDP and GNP. In the 1970s the emphasis slowly changed to poverty alleviation but the preferred indicators remained the same. During the 1980s and 1990s the focus shifted to people and human development. Development now meant development of the people, and was no longer equated to mere economic well-being, but covered a wide range of necessities including education, health and human rights. A number of UN global conferences had been held during the 1990s to spread awareness of this issue culminating with the Millennium Summit in 2000. A Millennium Declaration adopted by all UN members contained seven sections, namely: (a) peace, security, disarmament; (b) development and poverty eradication; (c) protecting common environment; (d) human rights, democracy; (e) protecting the vulnerable; (f) special needs of Africa; and (g) strengthening the UN.

97. The Commission learned that the eight millennium development goals (MDGs) were: (a) to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; (b) to achieve universal primary education; (c) to promote gender equality and empower women; (d) to reduce child mortality; (e) to improve maternal health; (f) to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; (g) to ensure environmental sustainability; and (h) to develop a global partnership for development.

98. The Commission was further informed that to achieve the MDGs, the implementation strategy would be: (a) monitoring, both at the global and national levels; (b) analysis; and (c) campaign and mobilization. A millennium project had been established to advise on strategies and a millennium campaign had been launched to raise support for funding operation activities and partnership building.

99. The Commission heard details on two MDGs of special significance for food and agricultural statistics namely, Goal 1 (eradication of extreme poverty and hunger) and Goal 7 (environment sustainability). Regarding Goal 1, it was noted that at the global level, the percentage of total population below the poverty line had declined in developing countries from 29 percent to 23 percent between 1990 and 2000. The reduction was appreciable in East Asia and the Pacific region. The reduction in South Asia was marginal while no progress was made in Africa. Also in connection with this goal, it was reported that the percentage of malnourished children in the developing countries had declined from 32 percent in 1990 to 28 percent in 2000. In East Asia, the decline was substantial, while in Africa there was no change. Another indicator under this goal was the proportion of population consuming below minimum dietary energy requirement. Statistics showed that in East Asia, this proportion of population had declined from 16 percent to 10 percent between 1990 and 2000. For all developing countries, the decline was marginal from 20 percent to 17 percent. As regards the MDG Goal 7, the indicator on proportion of land area covered by forests revealed that at the global level, 9.4 million hectares of area under forest was lost each year between 1990 and 2000.

100. The Commission was informed of the limitations of statistics needed for preparation of indicators. Data needed for measuring poverty, nutrition levels, infection with HIV/AIDS, forest cover and environmental conditions had to be generated from surveys and were often difficult to obtain. In order to monitor the goals, statistical systems had to face the challenges of conceptualization, data availability, data quality, aggregation, and consistency of data over time.

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