New York, Jul 10 2012  2:05PM
A group of United Nations independent experts today urged States to intensify efforts towards realizing the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), stressing that there is no room for complacency with only three years before the 2015 deadline to achieve them.

“Human rights standards provide a normative framework that grounds development work within a universal set of values, but also provide an important tool for ensuring that development is pursued in an equitable, just and sustainable manner,” they said in a <“http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12339&LangID=E”>news release.

The group is made up of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda; the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque; the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh; the Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover; the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter; the Independent Expert on international solidarity, Virginia Dandan; and, the Independent Expert on foreign debt, Cephas Lumina. Continue reading “UN EXPERTS URGE ACTION TO ACHIEVE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AHEAD OF 2015 DEADLINE”

In poverty, slums and water, the goals of the MDGs have been met ahead of the 2015 deadline (IPS)

Read at :


Water and Slums Bright Spots in MDGs

By Carlota Cortes

The proportion of people using improved water sources rose from 76 per cent in 1990 to 89 per cent in 2010

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 2 2012 (IPS) – An annual report card on the ambitious U.N.-led initiative known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) says that in three areas – poverty, slums and water – the goals have been met ahead of the 2015 deadline, but persistent gaps remain, notably in the critical area of maternal health.

The report , released Monday, also says that the ongoing financial crisis has undermined progress on many of the goals.

“Some of the biggest challenges are the most difficult ones. It doesn’t mean we should give up,” Jomo Kwame Sundaram, former U.N. assistant secretary general for economic development, told IPS.

Based on data compiled by over 25 U.N. and international agencies, the report presents a complex and sometimes contradictory picture.

“I’m a little sceptical about how reliable our information is. For example, how do we understand a situation where poverty seems to be going down but hunger seems to be going up?” said Sundaram.

The official poverty line, as set by the World Bank, is one dollar a day. This decision was “arbitrary” and “convenient”, he said.

“A dollar a day might be enough for food in India but a dollar a day may not be good enough in Brazil,” he added.



New York, Jul  2 2012  2:05PM
With three important targets on poverty, slums and water having been met, a new United Nations report stresses the need for a true global partnership to achieve the remaining Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline.

The 2012 MDG Report offers “the most comprehensive picture yet” on global progress towards the Goals, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he launched the report at the high-level segment of the annual session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The eight MDGs, agreed by world leaders at UN summit in 2000, set specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a “Global Partnership for Development.” Continue reading “GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP KEY TO ACHIEVING MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS BY 2015 – UN REPORT”

Zaden voor Voedsel – Zaden voor het leven (in Dutch/Nederlands) – (Willem Van Cotthem)


Met veel genoegen terugdenkend aan een interview voor TV OOST (Vlaanderen, België), een interview in het kader van de Millenniumdoelstellingen


Veel kijkgenot,



New York, Jun  6 2012 12:05PM
The United Nations today launched an online platform that will track the progress on the financial and policy commitments made by countries towards realizing the anti-poverty and social development targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“Starting today, we have a tool that is available and accessible to anyone in the world – a one-stop shop to monitor all commitment made by Member States to help meet the Millennium Development Goals,” Mr. Ban said at an informal meeting of the General Assembly to launch the website, http://mdgsupport.un.org, which will be known as the Integrated Implementation Framework (IFF).

There are a total of eight MDGs, ranging from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015. They form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions and have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest. Continue reading “PROGRESS ON UN MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS TO BE TRACKED BY NEW ONLINE PLATFORM (UN News)”

How to ensure food security for all the hungry of this world ? (Willem Van Cotthem)

Let us read again attentively the former posting on this blog :


Let us first underscore the main issues :

  1. A flagship report states that “small, import-dependent countries, particularly in Africa, are especially vulnerable to poverty and food insecurity
  2. The United Nations agencies working to combat hunger today called for action to ensure long-term food security.
  3. Our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by half in 2015 are challenged.
  4. Even if the MDG were achieved by 2015 some 600 million people in developing countries would still be undernourished …………….. and  suffering from hunger on a daily basis which is never acceptable“.

Therefore, “The entire international community must act today and act forcefully to banish food insecurity from the planet“.

2007-02 - Beautiful, but malnourished children in a Saharawi refugee camp (Tindouf area, S.W. Algeria) - (Photo WVC)

My first question is : “Who are these 600 million people suffering permanently from hunger?“.

No one will deny that most of them live in the developing world, not in developed countries.  We can deduce from it that the entire international community should concentrate its forceful actions to banish food insecurity from that part of the planet, where “small, import-dependent countries, particularly in Africa, are especially vulnerable to poverty and food insecurity“, not from the developed countries where food is even wasted.

Before thinking at reducing food waste in developed countries “through education and policies“, before thinking at reducing “food losses in developing countries by boosting investment in the entire value chain, especially post-harvest processing“, before even thinking at engaging in the combat of “high and volatile food prices, major contributing factors in global food insecurity“, the entire international community and in particular the United Nations agencies concerned should focus on the daily situation of the most vulnerable and poorest of those 600 million hungry or malnourished people.

It is my strongest believe that such a focus would clearly show that investment in the large-scale agricultural sector (to enhance food production and to improve “food security in the long run“) is not the sector in which we should preferentially “act forcefully to banish food insecurity“.  On the contrary, if the number of hungry people has still been growing from 850 million to an estimated 925 million in 2010, our actions should be focused in the first place on the hungry themselves, not on those who have to subsidized and supported to produce efforts to improve food security in the long run.

2007-02 - A small kitchen garden in the Sahara desert suffices to produce sufficient fresh food to improve the health of the family. What is possible in the Sahara should be possible in all the developing countries. (Photo WVC)

My second question is therefore: “Shall we continue to invest in large-scale industrial agriculture, aiming at enhancing food export potentials to stimulate the economy, “incentives for increased long-term investment in the agricultural sector“, or shall we really act forcefully to help the hungry people and their malnourished children to at least one decent daily meal ?

With 925 million hungry people in 2010, the international community can not afford to consider actions that would possibly improve food security in the long run.  Time has come to start as soon as possible actions that offer ALL THE HUNGRY PEOPLE, WHEREVER THEY LIVE, a chance to produce their own fresh food.

Maybe you belong to that group of people who think that such a world initiative is totally impossible ?  Well, open your eyes widely and look at what is going on all over the world today.  People who can’t afford the high food prices, the hungry of this world, are waiting no longer for the aid organizations to offer them food, they start growing fresh food themselves, in different ways, in different places, with minimal means, but with maximal results :

  1. Allotment gardening (the Victory gardens of the hungry people during the two World Wars 1914-1918 and 1940-1945, but still a growing success at world scale, especially now).
  2. Community gardening.
  3. School gardening.
  4. Container gardening at home (in recycled, discarded pots, bottles, buckets,  barrels,  gutters, in a small yard, on the balcony, on the deck, …).
  5. Sack gardening (multi-storey gardening like in some refugee camps).
  6. Urban gardening (in open spaces, replacing weeds by vegetables, rooftop gardening, …).
  7. Vertical gardening (on racks, on trellises, against walls, on stairs, in bottle towers, …).
  8. Permaculture.
  9. Even guerilla gardening in the cities !

Denying this multitude of splendid successes booked by the hungry people themselves is refusing to recognize that inexpensive, but very efficient solutions are at hand to save the lives of millions of children and unfortunate people.  Why aren’t we giving them a helping hand at almost no cost ?  Why would we invest in the far future, if we can offer them a more decent life today ?  Making people healthier and stronger is also a form of investment in the far future !

It suffices to look at the evidence of thousands of already published photos and videos, illustrating the efficiency of all these simple gardening methods, applied by the most vulnerable people without consistent help of the international community, to realize what the effect could be of a possible UN-supported program to offer every single hungry family a small kitchen garden (see my photo above).  It should not remain a dream.

Let the UN agencies not offer them A FISH anymore, but teach them HOW TO FISH !  For food security can better be achieved by the hungry themselves, if only we decide to give them that helping hand.

Their nice dinner menu is figuring the gardening techniques mentioned above.

Kenya and the MDGs (Google / The Global Herald)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification



Kenya: Desertification Presents Challenge to Millenium Development Goals

Desertification is Kenya’s major challenge in achieving the Millennium Development Goals as well as fulfilling its economic blueprint, Vision 2030.

Kenya’s Permanent Secretary (PS), at the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, Mr. Ali D. Mohammed, says that the Government is committed to combating desertification and the mitigation of the effects of drought as a central strategy in its efforts to eradicate poverty since it affects the poorest of population groups who entirely depend on natural resources for their livelihoods.

Kenya, Mr Mohammed says, is signatory to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and was thus obliged to mark the World Day to Combat Desertification on 17th June – in line with the requirements of the national implementation of the convention.

The UNCCD defines desertification as land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas (also referred to as drylands) resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities.

At the national level, he says the UNCCD calls for the implementation of activities aimed at prevention and/or reduction of land degradation, rehabilitation of partly degraded lands and reclamation of degraded lands through National Action Programmes to be developed by all parties.

“It also calls for the development of contingency plans for mitigating the effects of drought in areas degraded by desertification and/or drought,” he adds.

In Kenya, the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) host about 13 million people. These areas have the lowest development indicators and the highest incidence of poverty.



The Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria and desertification (Google / The Nation)


Read at : Google Alert – desertification


Forestry Institute and desertification combat

By Gambo Dauda

Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria is a Government Research organisation established in 1954. It has mandate to conduct research into all aspects of forestry, wildlife management, watershed management, Agro forestry, environmental protection, and forest products utilization. The Institute through its colleges has the mandate to train technical and sub-technical personnel for the forestry services and other Agro allied sectors in the country. The organisation has four HND/OND awarding colleges, and seven outstations spread across the country, representing  geo-ecological zones.

Over and above, these research mandates which are in line with the Federal Government’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and National Economic Empowerment Development strategy (NEEDS) are targeted at environmental management, sustainable food production, provision of industrial Raw materials, manpower Development and information services. The environmental management related research programmes includes; Desertification control, Erosion control,  Nursery and pilot Research plantations establishments for deforestation control. Those targeted towards sustainable food productions for food security includes; Wildlife domestication and multiplication, Eco-tourism, indigenous fruit trees domestication, mush room cultivation, snailery and bee-keeping (Apiculture), and agro forestry.



1994-07 : TC-Dialogue's successful reforestation project in Burkina Faso (Niou/Napalghe/Kourweopgo Province) - Photo WVC)

The ’land rush’ will contribute to the lack of food security in Africa (AfricaFiles / Daily Observer)

Read at :


Land takeover threatens Millennium Development Goals in Africa

Summary & Comment: This article discusses the issue of foreign investors buying arable land in Africa. The author of this article fears that the ’land rush’ will contribute to the lack of food security in Africa. NQ

Author: Amadou Jallow
Date Written: 14 February 2011
Primary Category: Ecology
Document Origin: Daily Observer
Secondary Category: Food and Land
Source URL: http://observer.gm/
Key Words: Land Rush, Foreign Investors, food security

UN support for Arab countries’ development efforts (Google / UN News Centre)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification


Secretary-General pledges continued UN support for Arab countries’ development efforts

19 January 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said the United Nations stands ready to support the efforts of Arab governments and their partners to achieve shared social and economic goals, with the aim of laying the foundation for a more peaceful and prosperous future.

“By joining forces, we can elevate the status of women, provide greater opportunities for youth, and lay the groundwork for a more peaceful and sustainable future,” Mr. Ban said in a message delivered to the 2nd Arab Economic, Social and Development Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on his behalf by the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark.

The Secretary-General said that Arab States have made significant strides towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but noted that gains have been uneven within and between countries. The eight MDGs – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and leading development institutions. Continue reading “UN support for Arab countries’ development efforts (Google / UN News Centre)”

Ghana on track to meet MDG for water (AfricaFiles / The Chronicle)

Read at :


Ghana: Country on track to meet MDG for water -World Bank
Summary & Comment: Ghana is among the only four countries in sub-Saharan Africa to be on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for water by 2015, according to the World Bank. JMPA

Author: Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh    Date Written: 6 January 2011
Primary Category: Western Region    Document Origin: The Chronicle
Secondary Category: Health and AIDS    Source URL: http://ghanaian-chronicle.com/
Key Words: Ghana, water, MDG, development

African Charter Article #22: All peoples shall have the right to their economic, social and cultural development within the common heritage of humanity . (Click for full text…)

Ghana on track to meet MDG for water -World Bank


Ghana is among the only four countries in sub-Saharan Africa to be on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for water by 2015, according to the World Bank. To this end, the Government of Ghana plans to double the capacity of the Kpong intake and water treatment plant to deliver another 40 million gallons of water a day to the Accra metropolitan area.



Declining water availability, new solutions and success stories (UNNews)

Read at : UNNews


New York, Nov 25 2010  6:05PM

The amount of water available per person in Africa is declining and only 26 of the continent’s 53 countries are currently on track to reduce by half the number of people without sustainable access to clean drinking water by 2015, according to a survey by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released today.

Furthermore, only five countries in Africa are expected to attain the target of reducing by half the proportion of the population without sustainable access to basic sanitation by 2015, the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a series of targets agreed to by all countries and leading development institutions to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.

The Africa Water Atlas, compiled by UNEP at the request of the African Ministers’ Council on Water, also maps out new solutions and success stories on water resources management from across the continent.
For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

%d bloggers like this: