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UN Development Aid System to Become More Effective and Agency for Gender Equality and Women’s Rights to Be Created As Result of Estonia-Led Negotiations

03.07.2010

Yesterday, 2 July, the UN General Assembly approved a decision that contains steps for making the UN’s development aid system more effective and will give a significant boost to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. Intense negotiations to reach an agreement among UN member states, which were led by the Estonian and Tunisian ambassadors, went on for six months.

“I believe that we achieved the best possible outcome,” said Estonian Ambassador to the UN Tiina Intelmann. “Negotiations among 192 parties are always complicated, but fortunately all the member states agree that major efforts must be made in the next five years in order to achieve the Development Goals.”

The importance of the agreement was also noted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who emphasised that this decision by the UN General Assembly is a brave achievement that begins a new era. “I am very pleased that the negotiations led by the Estonian and Tunisian ambassadors were carried out in an inclusive, transparent and effective manner,” the UN secretary general said.

The decision of 2 July created a UN agency that will begin to address women’s rights and gender equality issues more extensively, while also implementing active and clearly targeted programmes for improving the situation of women in developing countries. “Several international studies have shown that insufficient attention to women’s health, education, and place in society is a significant hindrance to the development of many of the least economically successful nations,” explained the Estonian ambassador to the UN.

The decision also took a critical look at the functioning of the entire UN development aid system, creating better opportunities for developing nations to receive development aid through UN funds and programmes in accordance with the nation’s own development actions plans and guaranteeing them more comprehensive opportunities to join in the discussions of UN decision-making bodies. Another goal is to save some money on the management of programmes.

The UN Millennium Development Goals were established in the year 2000 and contain concrete goals to be reached by the year 2015. The goals include various aspects of reducing poverty, including guaranteeing basic education, resolving health care and environmental problems, and promoting gender equality. The UN Millennium Development Goals have become the backbone for international development co-operation in the activities of developing countries, donor countries, and international organisations.

A mid-term review of the fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals will be made at the UN summit taking place in New York in September 2011.

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