National reports

In September 2000, when the Millennium Summit was held at the UN General Assembly, Afghanistan was suffering from conflict and could not participate in the formulation of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Government endorsed the Millennium Declaration as well as the MDGs only in March 2004. However, having lost over two decades to war, it has had to modify the global timetable and benchmarks to fit local realities. The rest of the international community defined the MDGs to be attained by 2015, against a baseline of 1990. Because of its lost decades and the lack of available information, Afghanistan has defined its MDG contribution as targets for 2020 from baselines of 2002 to 2005. Despite extreme poverty, ill health, and hunger, Afghans define the lack of security as their greatest problem. Hence the Government of Afghanistan has added this new goal to the eight global MDGs recognizing the critical role of peace and security in achieving the other MDGs.
This report tracks the extent to which Zambia is making progress towards achieving the MDGs focuses on Goals 1 to 7 and assesses Zambia’s national development plans, the main tools for achieving economic and human development, particularly the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP). It also analyses problems in the way the MDGs are formulated, arguing that unless these are taken care of, the human development conditions of countries such as Zambia will remain poor for a long time. Finally, it makes proposals for post 2015 reform.
The main problem with the MDGs, globally, is that the overall approach towards development they represent is quite narrow, limiting countries’ incentives to institute structural changes that would foster development. This is particularly evident in the case of Goal 2: ‘Achieve Universal Primary Education,’ which excludes economically active people in developing countries who are in need of further education, re-skilling or vocational training. Using the case of Cyprus, we can examine how the Lifelong Learning strategy it adopted made the link between LLL and sustainable development, and ask whether the Cyprus model provides a potential model for developing countries in the post-MDG agenda.
Unlike many developing countries, India’s economy has been growing at a fast pace, enabling the government to mobilize the necessary resources internally for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. Its dependence on international aid, especially for financial resources is minimal; in fact it has declined bilateral aid from many countries. Despite this, however, the country has failed to achieve most of the goals and targets. The main reasons for this are inadequate funding, inappropriate administration and ignorance of policy and governance issues. Ultimately however, the failure is due to the absence of inclusiveness in the development model. Instead of enabling people to acquire basic needs such as food, sanitation, water, health care, the government is promoting ‘non-inclusive growth’ and has sought to provide basic services through subsidies with the associated problems of inefficiency and corruption. The organized sector, which provides quality employment, employs only 12% to 13% of the workforce. The remaining 87% are relegated to agriculture and the informal sector with low and uncertain earnings. The crisis in agriculture, seen in the millions of farmers’ suicides, is now being exacerbated by climate change. Although the government has prepared an ambitious climate change action plan, the focus so far in implementing the plan is limited to investment and technology, ignoring critical issues such as equity, institutional capacity and good governance.
Protesting in the streets.
(Photo: Ahlulbayt News Agency)

In 2012, the authorities in Bahrain showed little if any readiness to engage with the political opposition and civil society in order to find a fair and sustainable solution to socio-political and socio-economic challenges facing the nation.  If anything, officials intensified their repression of the democratic wishes expressed by a sizable number of people in February 2011.

Sadly, by shunning repeated calls for face to face roundtable negotiations, officials have only succeeded in harming the country's potential, reputation and ranking in international economic, political and social development indices.  This report focuses on the costs to the country's performance on various indicators as well as to the likelihood of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

In 2012, the authorities in Bahrain showed little if any readiness to engage with the political opposition and civil society in order to find a fair and sustainable solution to socio-political and socio-economic challenges facing the nation. If anything, officials intensified their repression of the democratic wishes expressed by a sizable number of people in February 2011. Sadly, by shunning repeated calls for face to face roundtable negotiations, officials have only succeeded in harming the country's potential, reputation and ranking in international economic, political and social development indices. This report focuses on the costs to the country's performance on various indicators as well as to the likelihood of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
As a whirlpool, the crisis that has been lasting for the past 5 years has hit Italy hard in 2012. The country was put under the "technical” government of Mario Monti, who acted as a commissioner and subjected Italy to a shock therapy of austerity policies, similar to the structural adjustment programs imposed by the IMF. While intended to reanimate the economy, it plunged the country into a real recession under the blackmail of two parameters: the "spread" between Italy and Germany, and the Public Debt, which has grown another 10%, reaching 127,3% of the GNP (3rd quarter of 2012, according to Eurostat). It is not by chance that the Prime Minister Mario Monti has been International Advisor to Goldman Sachs.
Armenia adopted the “UN Millennium Declaration” in 2000. It was obvious that the goals cannot be comprehensive, and each country should determine its current problems, especially if the solution is defined by the Constitution and other laws and international obligations. As a result of MDG local adaptation the following goals: “Achieve universal primary education”, “Contribute to gender equality and empowerment of women” were not recognized as the first order priority since the Constitution obliges the state to ensure that all citizens work, have a decent standard of living, access to all levels of education, professional training, health care and healthy living conditions, etc. However despite these two goals weren’t emphasized as priority ones some achievements were observed with respect to these spheres, we will refer them in the report.
In 2012, the all-consuming question has been, “who will lead Malaysia after its 13th general elections?” So much so that questions of substance as to what policies and principles will be in place and how and in which direction the country will be governed after the polls, have been downgraded. Fears of losing electoral and political support by instituting – or championing – drastic changes have prevented crucial questions from being addressed. Even reformist-minded politicians have not been able to articulate a different development trajectory and model than that of the incumbent government. However, a bright spot has emerged: a nascent ‘green’ movement steered by grassroots civil society leaders but empowered by tens of thousands of ordinary citizens who have not been cowed from rallying onto the streets of Malaysia to make their concerns known about the world they want.
Despite that the poverty level in Azerbaijan decreased by 1.5 % and amounted to 7.6 % in 2011, share of poorest quintile in national income also diminished. Most recently several projects (among them, “State Programme of Socio-Economic Development of the Regions of Azerbaijan (2009-2013)”, “State Programme of Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development of the Republic of the Azerbaijan”, “State Programme of Ensuring Reliable Population in the Republic of Azerbaijan in food provision”) were launched, the main priority is social and human development.
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