Statement by Mr. Luc Stevens, UN Resident Coordinator on the occasion of the Launch of the Second National Millennium Development Goals Report 2010, Royal Cultural Center, 12th December 2010

14 Dec 2010

Your Excellency, Mr. Samir Rifai, Prime Minister deputizing for His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
Your Excellency, Dr. Jaffar Hassan, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to welcome you to the launch of the 2nd National Millennium Development Goals Report 2010, which offers a critical review of the progress and achievements towards the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals in Jordan.

The Millennium Development Goals are eight targets to be achieved by 2015 in response to the world′s main development challenges. The Goals provide a concrete framework and tool for Governments, the UN, and development partners when planning development interventions. These goals also serve as a benchmark to assess the impact and success of development policies.

While the Millennium Development Goals are global targets, they are not necessarily universal yardsticks for assessing the performance of specific regions and countries. Rather, they have been designed to promote national and local development, based on contextualization and tailored to local needs. In this regard, Jordan has promoted the adaptation of the Millennium Development Goal targets and indicators to the national context and the development priorities of Jordan. This has allowed Jordan to engage in a process of collective self-discovery, common participation, readiness to listen, and ability to accord real policy space to the national reality.

Jordan’s 2nd National MDG Report reveals that the Kingdom is on track with the achievement of several of the Millennium Development Goals. Progress has been registered in combating poverty, reducing illiteracy rates, decreasing under-five and maternal mortality, enhancing HIV/AIDS prevention, reducing consumption of ozone-depleting substances along with maintaining high growth rate supported by national exports and foreign direct involvement. But the report also documents that Jordan needs to accelerate efforts to achieve the MDGs by 2015. More specifically, the report shows that renewed efforts are needed in regards to the achievement of Goal 1 on the eradication of poverty in Jordan, Goal 3 on the promotion of gender, Goal 4 and 5 on the reduction of Child Mortality and improvement of maternal health, and finally Goal 7 on ensuring environmental sustainability.

In order to overcome the development challenges facing Jordan, an acceleration of the efforts towards the achievement of the MDGs must take place. Jordan, as one of 10 pilot countries worldwide, has embarked on an acceleration of the MDGs earlier this year with the development of a programme that seeks to enhance food and nutrition security. The approach applied is the MDG Acceleration Framework, which offers Governments a systematic way of identifying bottlenecks and solutions to address them. Such Framework also addresses disparities and inequalities - one of the major causes of uneven MDG progress - by responding to the needs of the most vulnerable, the poorest of the poor, women and ethnic minorities. While Jordan and the United Nations are piloting this one programme so far, it is our hope, that the findings of 2nd National MDG Report will allow the Government to take the lead, with effective support from partners, to pilot other programmes targeting the gaps identified in Goal 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7.

In this context, I would like to take the opportunity to emphasize that the acceleration of the MDGs and the achievement of the eight goals is a shared responsibility that requires consensus and a solid partnership between the Government, international development partners, the UN, civil society, and the citizens of Jordan. Acceleration of progress is only possible when strong government leadership, strong partnership, effective policies and institutional capacity are complemented by adequate financial and technical support both at the national and international levels. With Jordan aiming to accelerate the MDGs, the development of an MDG acceleration action plan along with the reinvigoration of partnerships for development are of paramount importance for change, progress and increased equality, particularly at a time when our world is grappling with the fallout from the global recession, the lingering effects of the food and fuel crises, devastating conflicts and water scarcity.

It is time for all of us to join forces and prove that Jordan’s development goals can be achieved, sooner than later, for all the people of Jordan.

On this note, I would like to thank the Royal Court for organizing the launch of this important report and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation for taking a strong lead in developing the 2nd National MDGs Report 2010 for Jordan at this very critical and opportune time.

Thank you.

To view the MDG presentation please visit the following link: Second National Millennium Development Goals Report Overview of Progress and Challenges