Category Archives: Millennium Development Goals

UN@70, Post-2015 Development Agenda Echo at Women empowerment workshop


A participant, Ms Kofoworola Olaitan Anidugbe is excited to learn head-gear (Gele) tying.

A participant, Ms Kofoworola Olaitan Anidugbe is excited to learn head-gear (Gele) tying.

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon at the Library auditorium of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, where over 152 women gathered yesterday to aspire to be ‘A Better Me’, the theme of the Homemakers Lifestyle and Empowerment Workshop organized by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos and Brightlight Studios as part of activities marking the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN) as well as the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Defying the biting fuel scarcity in Nigeria and the status of Sunday as a rest day, the women clad in beautiful dresses turned up in their numbers to be a part of the programme which also contributes to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 3: Promote Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.

UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun addressing the participants

UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun addressing the participants

In his welcome address the Director of UNIC Lagos, Ronald Kayanja, represented by the Centre’s National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, reiterated that women remained a priority group for the United Nations and reassured that the organisation would continue to make a positive difference to the lives of millions of people especially in terms of vaccinating children; distributing food aid; sheltering refugees; deploying peacekeepers; protecting the environment; seeking peaceful resolution of disputes and supporting democratic elections, gender equality, human rights and the rule of law.

Quoting the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, Kayanja noted that “The theme of this anniversary year, ‘Strong UN. Better World’ captures the importance of multilateralism. This is a time of test but far more one of tremendous opportunity.”

Executive Director, Brightlight Studios, Ms Lanre Anjola-Oyebode addressing the participants

Executive Director, Brightlight Studios, Ms Lanre Anjola-Oyebode addressing the participants

He added that the empowerment workshop aligned with the message of the UN Secretary General on UN@70 that the United Nations looks forward to working with people everywhere to build lives of safety, prosperity and dignity for all.

The Homemakers Lifestyle and Empowerment Workshop featured the business side of beauty which included Make-up skills and head-gear (Gele) tying lessons; Marriage/Relationship Counselling; Building a Successful Fashion Designing Business; and the Art and Science of making Desserts, Cocktails and Mocktails. The programme also featured exhibition of women’s products from the cultural industry; beauty products; Cakes and Pastries and women wellness products among others.

Cultural Industry Exhibition

Cultural Industry Exhibition

Having been asked to bring along their ‘Gele’ for the lesson on Head-gear tying which is gradually developing to be a thriving business in the country, the women brought out their different and colourful head-tie to go through the process of tying elegant, head-turning ‘Gele’. The ‘Gele’ tying session appeared to be the climax of the workshop as all the women looked upbeat and determined to learn the art of tying the head-gear.

A participant, Ms Olaitan Ajilogba, who conspicuously battled to get the tying right for a long period during the session expressed her delight that she eventually mastered the process and ‘tied a beautiful and glamorous head-gear.’

'Gele' tying lesson in session

‘Gele’ tying lesson in session

Commenting, another participant, Ms Aisha Joy Omosun, noted that the Make-up session was very instructive and educating and would add both social and economic values to the women.

The Executive Director of Brightlight Studios, Ms Lanre Anjola-Oyebode, had earlier explained the rationale behind the programme saying it was meant to grow the number of women who are economically independent and sufficiently empowered to support their husbands in raising educated and morally upright children.

Brightlight Studios, she added, would continue to collaborate with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos to empower and improve the wellbeing of women in Nigeria. UNIC Lagos and Brightlight Studios plan to make the Homemakers Lifestyle and Empowerment Workshop an annual event in Nigeria.

Momentum builds to achieve more Millennium Development Goals by end of 2015: UN report

With many MDG targets met and aid monies hitting record highs, other lagging targets need final push to seize on results and available solutions
Millions of people’s lives have improved due to concerted global, regional, national and local efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which serve as the foundation for the next global development agenda, according to a new report launched today by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

With many MDG targets already met on reducing poverty, increasing access to improved drinking water sources, improving the lives of slum dwellers and achieving gender parity in primary school, The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014 says many more targets are within reach by their 2015 target date. If trends continue, the world will surpass MDG targets on malaria, tuberculosis and access to HIV treatment, and the hunger target looks within reach. Other targets, such as access to technologies, reduction of average tariffs, debt relief, and growing political participation by women, show great progress.

The MDG report is based on comprehensive official statistics and provides the most up-to-date summary of all Goals and their targets at global and regional levels, with additional national statistics available online. Results show that concentrated efforts to achieve MDG targets by national governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector are working to lift people out of extreme poverty and improve their futures.

“The Millennium Development Goals were a pledge to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity, and free the world from extreme poverty,” Mr. Ban said. “The MDGs, with eight goals and a set of measurable time-bound targets, established a blueprint for tackling the most pressing development challenges of our time.”

Saving lives in many ways
According to the report, big MDG gains continue. Over the past 20 years, the likelihood of a child dying before age five has been nearly cut in half, which means about 17,000 children are saved every day. Globally, the maternal mortality ratio dropped by 45 per cent between 1990 and 2013. Antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected people has saved 6.6 million lives since 1995, and expanding its coverage could save many more. Between 2000 and 2012, an estimated 3.3 million deaths from malaria were averted due to substantial expansion of malaria interventions. Since 1995, efforts to fight tuberculosis saved an estimated 22 million lives.

MDGs a foundation for next development agenda
With the targets for the MDGs set to conclude at the end of 2015, UN Member States are in the midst of considering a broader set of goals to follow that are likely to be agreed to by world leaders in September 2015. The report says continued progress towards the MDGs in the remaining year is essential for what comes next.

“Member States are now fully engaged in discussions to define Sustainable Development Goals, which will serve as the core of a universal post-2015 development agenda,” Mr. Ban said. “Our efforts to achieve the MDGs are a critical building block towards establishing a stable foundation for our development efforts beyond 2015.”

However, some MDG targets related to largely preventable problems with available solutions, such as reducing child and maternal mortality and increasing access to sanitation, are slipping away from achievement by 2015, despite major progress. The report calls on all stakeholders to focus and intensify efforts on the areas where advances have been too slow or not reached all.

Ending open defecation key to greater MDG success
Since 1990, 2.3 billion people have gained access to an improved drinking water source. Over one-quarter of the world’s population has gained access to improved sanitation since 1990, yet one billion people still resort to open defecation. The vast majority—82 per cent—of people practicing open defecation now live in middle-income, populous countries. Much greater effort and investment will be needed to alter inadequate sanitation facilities.

Accelerated action using known solutions needed to help women and children
Worldwide, almost 300,000 women died in 2013 from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Maternal death is mostly preventable, however. Most pregnant women in developing regions see a skilled health provider at least once, but only half get the recommended four antenatal check-ups. Preventable conditions, such as diarrhoea and pneumonia, are the main killers for children under age five. In 2012, an estimated 25 per cent of children under age five were stunted—having inadequate height for their age. While this is a significant decline from 40 per cent in 1990, 162 million young children still suffer from preventable chronic under-nutrition.

Ninety per cent of children in developing regions are attending primary school. Half of the 58 million out-of school children of primary school age live in conflict-affected areas. Children in conflict-affected areas, girls from poor rural households and children with disabilities are more likely to be out of school. High dropout rates remain a barrier to universal primary education.

Aid money hit record highs, but in decline to the poorest countries
After two years of declines, official development assistance hit a record high of $134.8 billion in 2013. However, aid shifted away from the poorest countries where attainment of the MDGs often lags the most. Eighty per cent of imports from developing countries entered developed countries duty-free, and tariffs remained at an all-time low. The debt burden of developing countries remained stable at about 3 per cent of export revenue, which was a near 75 per cent drop since 2000.

Better data would help deliver better results
Despite considerable advancements in recent years, the report says reliable statistics for monitoring development remain inadequate in many countries, but better statistical reporting on the MDGs has led to real results. For example, the number of Member States submitting progress reports on HIV/AIDS increased from 102 in 2004 to 186 in 2012. This helped galvanise global efforts. Funding for HIV programmes more than tripled compared to 2004, and 9.5 million people living with HIV were accessing antiretroviral treatment in 2012.
The Millennium Development Goals Report, an annual assessment of global and regional progress towards the Goals, reflects the most comprehensive, up-to-date data compiled by over 28 UN and international agencies and is produced by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. A complete set of the data used to prepare the report is available at

For more information, see

New York: UN Department of Public Information
Mr. Wynne Boelt,, +1 212-963-8264
Lagos: Mr. Oluseyi Soremekun,, 0802 402 2085

MDGs, a foundation for post-2015 agenda – Resident Coordinator

The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Nigeria, Mr Daouda Toure has emphasised that the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) constitute the foundation for the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. He explained that member States of the United Nations (UN), including Nigeria, are in discussions to define sustainable development goals, to serve as a core of a Universal post 2015 Agenda.

(R-L) The Economic Advisor, UNDP Abuja, Ms Colleen Zamba (representing the Resident Coordinator) and the Director of Economic Planning and Development, Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Seun Akinsanya (representing Lagos State Governor)

(R-L) The Economic Advisor, UNDP Abuja, Ms Colleen Zamba (representing the Resident Coordinator) and the Director of Economic Planning and Development, Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Seun Akinsanya (representing Lagos State Governor)

Mr Toure made this emphasis at the regional launch of the MDG Report 2014 organised by and held at the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, just as the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon noted at the global launch of the report in New York that sustained progress towards the MDGs in the remaining year is essential to provide a solid foundation for the post-2015 development agenda.
The co-launchers, resource persons and some students

The co-launchers, resource persons and some students

The regional launch which was attended by over 190 participants comprising of seven Television Channels, five Radio Stations, six National Dailies, representatives of six Secondary Schools, twenty Non-Governmental Organizations and six UN Agencies, Programmes and Funds including the UNHCR, UNICEF, IOM, UNAIDS, UNODC and WHO, also featured an interactive session and a drama presentation by the students of Lagos State model college, Badagry.
A cross-section of participants

A cross-section of participants

Represented by the Economic Advisor, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Abuja, Ms Colleen Zamba, the Resident Coordinator urged development partners to continue the fruitful collaboration which would help Nigeria take meaningful and transformative steps needed to accelerate progress to achieve the MDGs by 2015.
In his address, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) represented by the Director of Economic Planning and Development, Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Seun Akinsanya, said that the State was committed to improving and strengthening its MDGs performances.
Ms Colleen Zamba representing the Resident Coordinator, Mr Daouda Toure

Ms Colleen Zamba representing the Resident Coordinator, Mr Daouda Toure

Earlier, the Senior Public Information Officer, UNIC Lagos, Ms Envera Selimovic, welcomed the participants to the Centre while the President, Strategy for Mentoring Initiative & Leadership Empowerment (S.M.I.L.E), Mrs Bimpe Bamgbose-Martins (BBM) spoke on “The role of youths in MDG acceleration beyond 2015”. The National Information Officer, UNIC Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun, provided an overview of the MDG Report 2014 including the MDG progress chart on Nigeria.????????
The Governor and the Resident Coordinator jointly launched the report.

Ban Ki-moon commends Nigeria on MDG, notes UN support

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-moon, has commended the government of Nigeria for its introduction of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Accelerated Framework with the support of the United Nations system in the country.
UN-Nigeria logoSpeaking at the event on transformative agenda for sustainable development in Nigeria and Africa:
Lessons, Actions and Emerging Perspectives in New York, yesterday, the Secretary General who was represented by his Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, applauded the leadership and commitment of Nigeria in striving to accelerate progress.
According to him, The Millennium Development Goals are our collective promise to the world’s most vulnerable people. Meeting the Goals requires partnerships, policies and resources that accelerate progress. ‘The MDG Acceleration Framework, introduced by the government of Nigeria with the support of the UN, is a stellar example,’ he cited.
Mr Ki-moon observed that Nigeria was an early mover on the MY World survey in which more than 140,000 people took part; noting that the information gathered had provided a vast amount of insight on the concerns and hopes of women, men, girls and boys throughout the country. The top 8 priorities for Nigeria in the MY World survey reflect similar results for Africa as a whole, and notably include better job opportunities and infrastructure.
He added that Nigerian government’s commitment in the country and across the continent of Africa would help improve the UN efforts to meet people’s needs at national, regional and global levels. In turn, this will contribute to a more effective multilateral system that is ‘fit for purpose’ to deliver on the post-2015 next development agenda.
The Secretary General also acknowledged the efforts of the governments of Ghana, Kenya and South Africa in striving to accelerate progress made on the MDG.

Sub-Saharan Africa Continues Steady Progress on Millennium Development Goals

Building on impressive strides on health and education,
accelerated action needed towards anti-poverty targets

Nairobi, 1 July — Building on impressive strides made, sub-Saharan Africa must continue to ramp up efforts towards achieving many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their 2015 target date, a new UN report says.

The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013, launched today by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Geneva, finds that sub-Saharan Africa has made steady progress for its 1 billion people, with fewer mothers and children dying, growing numbers of women in power and broadened access to health and education services, alongside sharp drops in malaria and tuberculosis deaths.MDG1_July copy

The eight Millennium Development Goals, with a number of sub-targets covering a range of poverty, hunger, health, gender equality, education and environmental indicators, were agreed by all countries as an outgrowth of the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, most with a due date of 2015.
The MDG Report 2013 emphasizes that progress for all children in sub-Saharan Africa is “within our grasp.” The region doubled its average rate of reduction of child deaths from 1.5 per cent a year in 1990-2000 to 3.1 per cent a year in 2000-2011, although it still has the highest child mortality rate in the world. From 1990 to 2011 for children under age five, the mortality rate dropped by 39 per cent (from 178 deaths per 1,000 live births to 109) and the proportion of those who are underweight dropped from 29 to 21 per cent. Some countries with high under-five death rates, including Ethiopia, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger and Rwanda, reported reductions of at least 60 per cent. MDG4_July copy

The report says steady progress has been made in expanding access to primary education in the region, with primary school enrolment rates increasing from 60 per cent to 77 per cent between 2000 and 2011. MDG2_July copy

Efforts to combat diseases are paying off in lives saved, as the region is on its way to halting the spread and reversing the incidence of tuberculosis and is making substantial progress battling malaria. One-third of children were sleeping under insecticide-treated nets in 2011, up from less than 5 per cent in 2000. Among developing regions, sub-Saharan Africa has the second highest access to HIV treatment – 56 per cent of people living with HIV received antiretroviral therapy in 2011. However, sub-Saharan Africa remains the most severely affected area by HIV.MDG6_July copy

Indicators for women are also improving. Despite having the highest maternal mortality ratio among all regions, sub-Saharan Africa saw mortality ratios fall by 41 per cent over the past two decades, from 850 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 500 in 2010. MDG5_July copy

The report says the proportion of parliamentary seats held by women increased from 13 per cent in 2000 to 21 per cent in 2013, the second highest among all developing regions. Globally, one of the highest electoral gains for women in 2012 was seen in Senegal, where women took 43 per cent of parliamentary seats. MDG3_July_v2 copy copy

The proportion of the region’s population using an improved water source increased from 49 per cent to 63 per cent between 1990 and 2011, according to the report. New sanitation policies adopted in recent years throughout the developing world have shown remarkable success in ending open defecation, a practice that poses serious health and environmental risks to individuals and entire communities. In almost 100 countries, many in sub-Saharan Africa, new approaches to sanitation have taken root and the number of declared ‘open-defecation-free villages’ is rising .The proportion of the world’s population resorting to open defecation declined from 24 per cent in 1990 to 15 per cent in 2011. MDG7_July_v2 copy

Building MDG momentum
Work to boost MDG achievement must continue to tackle some of the greatest challenges for the region, the report says. That includes bolstering development efforts to further reduce the poverty rate, which fell only 8 percentage points over the last two decades, and addressing the needs of 414 million people still living on less than $1.25 a day.

Accelerated efforts are also needed to continue gains in combating HIV and to build on the momentum in fighting malaria through the use of insecticide-treated nets. The region had the world’s highest child mortality rate and the second highest prevalence of underweight children among all regions in 2011. That year, one in nine children died before age five, more than 16 times the average for developed regions, accounting for 3.4 million of the 6.9 million under-five deaths worldwide. The pace of change must accelerate even further if the MDG target is to be met, the report says, and efforts must concentrate on countries with the highest number of under-five deaths, such as Nigeria, and countries with the highest under-five death rates, such as Sierra Leone and Somalia, with rates of 180 or more per 1,000 live births.

With the region continuing to face rising demands for education from a growing population, the report says 32 million more children were of primary school age in 2011 than in 2000. Sub-Saharan Africa is also home to more than half the world’s out-of-school children of primary school age (32 million out of 57 million) and it has the highest rate worldwide of children leaving school early. Slightly more than two out of five students who started primary school in 2010 will not make it to the last grade.

The report also calls for action to improve access to sanitation and the lives of slum dwellers. Between 1990 and 2011, the proportion of the population using an improved sanitation facility increased marginally from 26 per cent to 30 per cent, and the high proportion of slum dwellers dropped slightly—from 65 per cent in 2000 to 62 per cent in 2012.

At a time when renewed sets of commitments to the MDGs are being made, the report says aid is unfortunately lagging. The report states that bilateral net official development assistance to sub-Saharan Africa amounted to $26.2 billion in 2012, an 8 per cent drop from 2011. The current shift in aid away from the poorest countries and Africa, and towards middle-income countries, will continue, the recent survey suggests, with a greater share of aid being offered in the form of soft loans rather than grants.MDG8_July copy

The Millennium Development Goals Report, an annual assessment of global and regional progress towards the Goals, reflects the most comprehensive, up-to-date data compiled by over 27 UN and international agencies and is produced by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. A complete set of the data used to prepare the report is available at

For more information, press materials and an inter-agency media contact list, see