Bangkok - Early next week in Bangkok, Asian and Pacfic media and 10 UN agencies will participate in a special pre-session of a media summit organized by the Asia Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (APIBD), to review regional progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
At this pre-session, media and the UN agencies, including the UN Disaster Risk Reduction Office (UNISDR), will look at how they can work more closely to contribute towards the MDGs and its outcomes beyond 2015.
“Media are change agents and often the ones who help to set political agendas”, comments Madhhavi Ariyabandu from UNISDR’s Bangkok Office. “Disaster risk reduction is very much part of the MDGs debate. Poverty reduction will not be achieved if media do not collectively increase their understanding and knowledge of disaster risk reduction issues.
In this lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio and as part of its work with media, UNISDR hopes to convince participants about the importance of linking the objectives of MDGS to those of Hyogo Framework for Action - the global blueprint for disaster risk reduction.
“The two issues are interlinked and are fertile ground for investigative stories and innovative reports that can help thousands of millions of people to be more resilient against disasters in the future”, said Ariyabandu.
“The role of media is vital in educating more people about their risks and the actions they can take to be less vulnerable to disasters and poverty” said Ariyabandu.
Major successes have been made since world leaders in the year 2000 established the Goals to reduce extreme poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease.
More still remains to be done, however, to empower women and girls, promote sustainable development, and protect the most vulnerable from the devastating effects of multiple crises such as conflicts or natural hazards.
The June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, that will take place in Rio de Janeiro in the next coming weeks will offer a major opportunity for new progress.
The AIBD conference which will take place from 29-30 May will provide a unique opportunity for broadcasters in the region to exchange and share their thoughts on broadcasting and Information.
Among the significant progresses cited in the report launched by the UN Secretary General in 2011 were the following points;
- The world as a whole is still on track to reach the poverty-reduction target, and by 2015, the global poverty rate should fall below 15 per cent – well under the 23 per cent target – despite setbacks from recent economic, food and energy crises.
- Some of the poorest countries have made the greatest strides in education. For example, Burundi, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Togo and the United Republic of Tanzania have achieved or are nearing the goal of universal primary education.
- The number of deaths of children under the age of five declined from 12.4 million in 1990 to 8.1 million in 2009, which means that 12,000 less children die each day.
- Increased funding and intensive control efforts have cut deaths from malaria by 20 per cent worldwide – from nearly 985,000 in 2000 to 781,000 in 2009.
- New HIV infections have declined steadily. In 2009, some 2.6 million people were newly infected with HIV – a 21 per cent drop since 1997, when new infections peaked.
- The number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV and AIDS increased 13-fold from 2004 to 2009, thanks to increased funding and expanded programmes.
- An estimated 1.1 billion people in urban areas and 723 million people in rural areas gained access to an improved drinking water source over the period 1990-2008.