Post-2015 Development Agenda - Nigeria on Friday affirmed the African Common Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, as set out in the African Union (AU) policy document of March, PANA reported.
President Goodluck Jonathan made the affirmation in his speech on the post 2015 Development Agenda at the AU Summit due to round off in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Friday.
The AU policy document promotes universal and equitable access to quality healthcare, gender equality, education and human capital development, disaster risk reduction, poverty eradication, shelter provision, water resources management as well as harnessing the potentials of Africa’s growing population demographics.
Ahead of the 2015 deadline for meeting the eight international development goals encapsulated in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were adopted by UN member states in 2000, there has been a growing debate on the nature of the post 2015 agenda.
The eight MDG goals, which are to be achieved by 2015, are: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empowering women; reduce child mortality rates; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development.
Africa has already taken a common position on the post 2015 Development Agenda.
'African leaders voiced the need to ensure that the unfinished business of the MDGs is carried into the MDGs successor agenda. There is need for us to remain focused and vigilant to ensure that decisions on what forms the new framework is all inclusive, reflecting the wishes of developing countries,' President Jonathan said.
Stressing that the current MDGs should not be sidelined, the Nigerian leader said there is no doubt that the MDGs 'have helped to refocus our attention as leaders of our countries on very critical areas of human development, including committing resources to meet the timeline and benchmarks prescribed under each segment of the eight MDGs'.
'The cross-cutting nature of the eight MDGs were such that any positive outcome in one, resulted in progress in another. Statistics showed improvements across the MDGs within Nigeria. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2013 acknowledged that Nigeria has halved the proportion of those who suffer from hunger way ahead of the 2015 deadline.
'The net attendance levels for basic schooling have risen markedly in the country. Gender parity targets at primary and secondary education levels have been achieved. The under-five mortality and maternal health have equally seen reversal of the previously negative trend. There is continual fall in the HIV prevalence of the country. Government, in collaboration with stakeholders, is mobilising the necessary attention needed to focus on Goals lagging behind,' he said, summarising Nigeria's efforts at achieving the MDGs.