What is Momentum1000?
April 5th, 2013 marked the 1,000-day milestone until the 2015 target date to achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a development framework to improve lives worldwide. On that day, a community of individuals, organizations, and institutions celebrated successes to date, reinvigorated discussion on the MDGs themselves, and began to advance a post-2015 development framework that builds on #MDGmomentum.
Millennium Development Goals in BiH
Bosnia and Herzegovina is facing a turning point. After the destruction of the 1992-1995 war and the subsequent, massive international reconstruction support, the country now finds itself at a crossroads between economic, social and political dependency on one side and the sustainability and local ownership of its development on the other. The Human Development/Millennium Development Goals Report for Bosnia and Herzegovina for the year 2003 is forward-looking and proposes policies in specific sectors that will help achieving sustainability and ownership. It also contains quantitative forecasts for the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Poverty in BiH is not so much about absolute destitution, but like other transition countries in Europe, it is defined by social-exclusion and a lack of access to the basic things that make up an acceptable standard of living.Studies show that a significant minority of the population are trapped by low incomes, poor diet and scarce employment opportunities. An even larger number are vulnerable to falling into this category.
The long term solution to these vulnerabilities, and to entrenched poverty, is securing employment by generating economic growth. This requires the right mix of economic and social policies. Our target is to achieve EU poverty levels by 2015, and ensure by 2007 that all BiH citizens receive a healthy nutritional diet. The positive growth BiH is seeing must be accompanied by an equitable distribution of income - and policymaking should take the interests of the poor into account.
Achieve universal primary education
The high educational standards of pre-war BiH were very badly affected by the destruction, displacement and poverty which accompanied the conflict. The position today has undoubt edly improved, but more deep-rooted problems have come to light. It is estimated that 4% of children do not attend school, and attendance levels are falling.
Questions can also be raised about the quality of education. The teaching methods and curricula are not responsive to today’s labour market, nor do they always meet the wishes and expectations of parents. BiH is committed to achieving 100% enrollment in primary education in the near term, and steadily improving the quality of schooling. The end objective has to be the achievement of a first-world educational system as soon as possible.
Promote gender equality and empower women
Gender inequality is both a cause and result of poverty, and although the position of women is comparatively good, widely-held perceptions and archaic practices still stifle women’s opportunities and capabilities. Discrimination against women and the squandering of 50% of the available human capital hurt both the economy and the society as a whole.
The successful inclusion of women requires across-the-board policy actions, but especially within education, where opinions and opportunities are formed, and the BiH MDGs set ambitious targets for full equality in education by 2015. In the meantime the UN is working with the newly formed Gender Centres, to reform legal structures, recruitment practices and educate the wider public on gender matters.
Reduce child mortality
As with other health-sector indicators, BiH performs relatively well on mortality rates for both young children and infants. But ‘relatively well’, is not good enough for a modern country aspiring to join the European Union. The National MDG framework sets ambitious targets for 2015, which assume reductions in mortality rates of between 30 and 45%.
Achieving this progress will require commitment and effort – and not only one the part of health care professionals. The UN family will be advocating both for a new focus on prevention and better antenatal care - and a greater reliance on parents meeting their responsibilities.
Improve maternal health
Performance on this very basic indicator is disappointing. Maternal death rates in BiH are well above those recorded by our near neighbours and action is required. A number of positive steps can and are being taken to address the quality of genealogical services and to ensure that access to emergency care is maintained.
But sadly these measures are being impeded somewhat by the complex and unresponsive administrative structure. The UN supports the efforts undertaken by the two health ministries to ensure that each expectant mother receives the best possible standard of care regardless of her location in the country.
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
AIDS transmission and the associated social stigma must be tackled urgently. Prevention efforts, such as information campaigns promoting higher rates of condom use and the general education of the public, must be pursued vigorously. Equally, people should be encouraged to come forward and access voluntary and confidential testing.
Ensure environmental sustainability
BiH is blessed with natural beauty and pristine landscapes. Growing pollution and a general disregard for the environment threatens this inherence. Sadly, policy responses have been incoherent and the technical capacity to deal with environmental problems remains low.
The National Environmental Action Plan stipulates steps to harmonize legislation and standards, and monitor activities to avoid environmental degradation. As significant in amenity and quality of life terms is the prevalence of mines and unexploded ordinances. It is disquieting that, as yet, only 5-10% of known mine fields have been cleared. A re-doubling of efforts is required if we in BiH, are even to entertain the possibility of securing a mine-free future. This will require both resources and organization, and at the same time coordination of extensive de-mining efforts
Develop a global partnership for development
BiH has been the recipient of considerable international financial assistance, both for humanitarian purposes and post-conflict reconstruction. Yet as we move to a new developmental phase, the scale of these resources will decline. It is now more important than ever then that BiH gets the best value for the funds put at its disposal.
We need to coordinate aid better, and escape dependency on external support. The UN will continue to support coordination efforts, but BiH authorities need themselves to assume a greater responsibility for development and national renewal and this requires a redefinition of the country’s relationship with the international community. Donors in turn, need also to take account of the new realities the evolution from reconstruction to development implies, to build genuine and sustainable partnerships with government and civil society