African Governments keep your MDG promise!

We the concerned citizens of Africa reiterate that Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the world’s shared development agenda to reduce major aspects of human poverty.

We recall that in September 2000, world leaders met at the United Nations Millennium Summit and committed that by 2015, extreme poverty and hunger will be cut by half; gender inequality will be addressed, women and youth will have access to employment; environmental degradation will be halted; slums will be upgraded and all people will have access to good drinking water; HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis will be contained; all children of school going age will be in school and the gap between boys and girls will be eliminated; and cut child and maternal mortality. These will be ensured through a new global partnership for development which have come to be known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

We acknowledge that these goals are derived from more far-reaching international declarations, protocols and conventions such as the universal declaration of human rights, including the protocol on social and economic rights; education for all, health for all; reproductive rights for all; the Convention on the Rights of People Living with Disabilities and the Convention on the Rights of Indigenous people among others. These have been translated into equivalent protocols and conventions by African leaders.

We are encouraged by the fact that in the last decade, Africa has made significant progress in combating extreme poverty, improving school enrolment, reducing child mortality, expanding access to clean water and containing the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

However, we note with concern that progress remains slow in many of the MDGs in many countries in the continent, in particular the areas of hunger, maternal and child mortality, gender equality especially political representation of women, and employment. Without decisive and sustained action by governments, Africa risks missing out on many of the targets and with the appropriate policies and programmes, supported by appropriate levels of investment, most African countries can achieve or, even surpass the MDGs.

We further note that with the recent financial, food and energy crisis, the need for African governments to effectively mobilise domestic resources and prioritise MDGs in the allocation of such resources, as well as the rich countries to fulfilling their side of the bargain to provide additional resources, make trade just and contain climate change, is even more urgent.

To achieve the MDGs we call on Governments to:
• Re-affirm their commitments to the achievement of the MDGs by 2015
• Work with their citizens, parliaments and local governments to develop and implement break-through action plans.
• Address inequality, discrimination and marginalization of specific social groups including people with disabilities, women, youth as integral part of the breakthrough plans.
• Address resource leakages and corruption with urgency
• Act urgently to implement the African protocol on women’s rights and similar undertakings in relation to youth, children and people living with disabilities
• Put employment and decent work for women and young people at the centre of economic policies
• Uphold all continental agreements and protocols to budget adequately for the achievement of the MDGs including such targets as 15% to health, 10% to Agriculture, 10% to education
• Put more efforts into mobilising and retaining domestic resources
through fair and efficient taxation, fair sharing of natural resource rents and the prevention of illicit capital flight
• “ENSURE THAT NO WOMAN SHOULD DIE GIVING LIFE”

We commit as citizen groups to engage our governments at various levels in order to hold them to account for these commitments

To add you voice and commitment to this Africa-Wide Petition, please go to: http://www.campaign.yppdatwork.org

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