The Philippines, the United Nations, and the millennium development goals PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 October 2011 14:30

By ALFRED KRISTOFFER A. GUIANG

World War II (WWII) is one of the most trying and also one of the most significant events in history because of its aftermath which has, ironically yet serendipitously, brought countries all throughout the world to unite toward world peace.

The Philippines was not alien to the vestiges of WWII as its primary city, Manila, was the second most devastated city in the world, next only to Warsaw in Poland. As such, it was no surprise that the Philippines was not indifferent to such show of global concern.
In 1945, the Philippines, together with 50 other countries, signed the United Nations Charter in San Francisco, USA, with commitments of “maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, and promoting social progress, better living standards, and human rights.” (www.un.org)

This international organization replaced the League of Nations which was said to have “failed” in its job of preventing another world war. As of now, there are already 193 member states, with the addition of its newest member, South Sudan, in July 2011. With its 17 specialized agencies, the work of the United Nations has reached every nook and cranny of the globe not only for its peacekeeping mandate, but also for its broad range of tasks that are ultimately aimed at achieving sustainable development in various respects such as social, cultural, environmental, health, and economic.

The passing of time since the inception of the United Nations has seen countless developments among its member nations. And in September of 2000, 189 UN member-countries reaffirmed their commitment to the very goals and objectives of the UN through the adoption of the Millennium Declaration (MD), thus, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

All in all, there are eight MDGs which the Philippines is targeting to achieve in four years time, and they have been formulated in a way that they are measurable, quantifiable, and realistic. As stipulated, the eight goals are:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDs, malaria, other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development

These goals have 21 targets which are quantified through indicators set as benchmarks for measuring the country’s progress until these goals are finally achieved in its target year — 2015:

“Containing commitments to achieve the eight MDGs (and the specific targets under them) by 2015, the declaration reflects the vision of entire nations, working together with international and country-based organizations, to wipe out poverty and the worst forms of human deprivation, and lay the foundations for sustainable human development by the year 2015.” (www.un.org.ph)

Since the adoption of the MD in 2000, the Philippines has achieved progress towards attaining the MDGs, particularly in terms of gender equality, reducing child mortality, and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

Today, as the world celebrates United Nations Day, the Philippines is reminded to remember and put into conscious action the goals of the UN.

The UN Week 2011 is also an acknowledgment of the programs of the government that have worked their way to the realization of the MDGs and the national goal of overall progress. With the government’s numerous development and support programs such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Pantawid Pasada Program, Public-Private Partnership (PPP), the K-12, National Greening Program, Convergence Program, etc.— all under the long-term Philippine Development Plan — the country is right on track in attaining the MDGs.

With this, the UN fully supports efforts of the to attain the MDGs by 2015, and realize the vision of sustainable human development which will be evident in the lives of people and felt across continents, among nations, within communities, and among all Filipinos.