Thursday, September 25, 2008

SEPTEMBER 25, 2008

NEW YORK -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will reaffirm the
Philippines' commitments to achieving the Millennium Development Goals
(MDG) by 2015 when she delivers on Thursday (10 a.m. NY time) the
Country Report on the progress made by the Philippines in eliminating

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 at 8 a.m. today (NY time), 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.

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