Millennium Development Goals and The youth of India

October 30, 2014, 3:47 pm

By: Dr.Athiqul H. Laskar
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The year 2000 saw a major change in world politics. The world had had enough of sickly menaces like poverty, hunger, diseases, illiteracy, unemployment and crimes against women. 189 nations of the world in the form of the UN took a resolution to take concrete steps to change the face of the world in the ensuing 15 years. This resolution had a tremendous impact on countries all over the world. The developed nations of the world had a huge responsibility to perform. It was their moral duty to support the developing nations in their quest for eradication of the economic and social problems they faced. With this end in view, the 191 member nations of the UN embarked on an eight-fold path names rightly as the ‘Millennium Development Goals’. Today, we are five years short of reaching the expected goal. This chapter attempts to analyze and measure the impact of these goals to determine the extent of their success or failure so far. The major emphasis lies on the role of youth in achieving the targets have been promised.
The United Nations took a progressive step towards world development in 2000. Realizing the importance of concrete corrective action as against bureaucratic paper-work and grants, 189 nations among all the nations of the world undertook the eight-fold ‘Millennium Development Goals’ (Henceforth stated as MDGs) pledge. The objective was to achieve maximum world-wide progress within a span of fifteen years. This progress was intended to reach the remotest corners of the earth. The MDGs are time-bound and measurable. The main concern of the UN was, quite understandably, health. It was based on the premise that good health is a pre-requisite to achieve success in any field. Any amount of developmental help would be meaningless without the physical and the mental well-being of the masses. Hence health was a major influencing factor in the formulation of these goals. However it’s not enough to chart initiatives on paper and provide funds. The responsibility does not end there. As the Honorable General secretary of the UN, Mr. Kofi Annan said, “It is not in the United Nations that the Millennium Development Goals will be achieved. They have to be achieved in each country by the joint efforts of the Governments and people.” So, the youth being the energy and the driving force behind every country, have a major role to play in achieving the MDG goals. Let us study each goal individually and analyze the role the youth of today can play in the achievement of the MDG goals.
1) Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
The first goal aims at three targets. The goal will be achieved if India succeeds in 1) reducing by half the number of people living on less than a dollar a day, 2) Achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people, 3) Reducing by half the proportion of people suffering from hunger. Considering the fact that health is of primary importance, the World Health Organization, which is an associate of the UN, works in collaboration with other organization like the UNICEF in order to provide food to millions of poor children world-wide. With targeted efforts, they have partially succeeded. The proof of this can be seen from the fact that there has been a decline in the percentage of underweight children from 25% in 1990 to 16% in 2010. However an estimated 104 million children are underweight. (WHO, 2010). The WHO works on a permanent basis to develop policies for the nutritional development of the poor infants and children. Viewed from an Indian point of view, the situation is bleak. According to the world health indicators of the year 2006, In India, almost 43.5% children below the age of 5 years were underweight. This is the highest and is more than even the most economically impoverished countries of the world. This is a clear indication that much work is still required to be done. According to the FAO (Food and agriculture Organization), 21% of the Indian population is below the minimum level of dietary energy consumption (WHO, 2007). The government of India has undertaken rigorous measures to curtail the intensity of poverty and hunger. As of result of these efforts, “The incidence of poverty has declined by almost 50 percent between 1977-78 and 1999-2000, from 51.3 percent in 1977-78 to 28.6 percent in 1999-2000. During the same period, the rural poverty declined from 53.1 percent to 27.1 percent and urban poverty from 45.2 percent to 23.6 percent (10th Plan). As per survey conducted in the year 1999-2000, 34.7 percent of India’s population was living on less than US $ 1/day (World Development Indicators, 2005).” These statistics are encouraging, but we must remember that we are still very far from achieving our goals when it comes to poverty. Actual poverty is much higher than what is reflected in the statistics due to the faulty understanding of poverty. If any income above $1 is considered as above poverty, then perhaps there is as strict need for a comparative study between expenses and inflation levels. At the same time, employment opportunities must be created in the organised as well as unorganised sector so that every individual gets a chance of earning a fair amount of income that is required to live a comfortable life. Unemployment is a bane of developing society and creates major havoc in the lives of youth and affects overall economy by debilitating the youth.
The governments must regularly monitor the number of youth living in poverty. Sex-aggregated and age-based research must reflect the extent of youth poverty. The government must also ensure maximum participation of the youth in poverty reduction programmes like the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). It is important to engage the youth, especially the rural youth. This could be done by employing them in various services as well as infrastructure development programmes.
2) Achieve Universal Primary education
Education is one of the basic needs of human beings. Without education, employment in organised sectors is difficult and hence education influences other goals related to the youth like poverty eradication. The primary aim of this goal is to ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling. It is distressing to know that in the year 2003; about 115 million children worldwide did not have any access to primary school. (UNFPA, 2003). According to an ILO survey, more than half of the world’s jobless are under the age of 24. The government of India has recently undertaken a major initiative to reform primary education in India. In 2009, the government passed the ‘Right of children to Free and Compulsory Education Act.’ The MDG India country report published recently stated that the net primary school enrolment in India has increased by 75 percent in 1990 to 96 percent in 2008 which is quite impressive; yet children in many remote parts of India who are beyond the reach of even statistical analysis, are still out of reach of primary schools (endpoverty2015.org, 2010).
Another aspect concerning the spread of universal education which also translates into a separate goal in itself is the reduction of gender related discrimination in education. The United Nations Girls’ Education initiative (UNGEI) aimed at providing basic support and advocating girls’ education globally. In India the scenario is not very encouraging. Girls’ enrolment to school, in many parts of the country is withdrawn when they reach puberty. Such steps are taken to curb pre-marital pregnancies and avoid social ostracism. However, this is a violation of the right to education. This does not mean that there has been absolutely no progress on this front at all. India has concentrated its efforts in this direction when we realised that ‘one girl child educated means an entire family educated’. On an average, in 1990-91, among the primary students, there were 71 girl students for every 100 boy students. This ratio has increased to 78:100 in the year 2000-01 (Economywatch.com, 2010). However, in order to reach anywhere near a 100:100 ratio, we must encourage maximum participation of girls at every level. In order to fulfil their promise to the girl child, the government of India has made special provisions for girls For e.g. “free textbooks to girls up to class VIII, separate toilets for girls, back-to- school camps for out –of- school girls, Bridge courses for older girls, Recruitment of 50% women teachers, Early childhood care and education centres in/near schools/ convergence with ICDS programme etc.” (Ministry of HRD, GOI, 2007). Governmental reform measures like the National Programme for education of Girls for Elementary Level (NPEGEL) and the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Scheme will be instrumental in promoting gender equality in education. A lot NGOs are working in this direction and require young human resources to achieve this end. . Educated youth must come forward and take the responsibility of teaching economically backward students. The government can give an impetus to this strategy by making certain changes in the existing curriculum. Enthusiastic and bright students from the secondary level can be encouraged to teach many students from the primary level. This will ensure youth participation in the development process.

3) Promote Gender Equality and Empower women
The basic target of this goal is to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015. According to the 2005 UNESCO data, the targets set for this goal have been missed by 94 out of 149 countries for which data is available. We have seen what steps the government of India has taken to promote education amongst girls. As a result the net enrolment ratio of girls enrolling into primary school has increased from 61 percent in 1991 to 75.7 percent in 2001 (UNGEI, 2005). According to the UNGEI report, India has thus made tremendous progress. However, exploitation of girls is not limited to denial of education. There are many issues that plague the community of women world-wide like child marriage, sexual harassment, human trafficking etc. and these need immediate attention as well. Child marriage is illegal and is one of the worst forms of human rights violation. In rural parts of the country, many children are married off at an early age. As a result they bear children at a young age and hence face lot of health and nutritional complications. There has been a significant decrease in the number of women getting married before the age of 18. For e.g. according to NFHS and UNICEF, in 1992-93, 54% women married before the age of 18, but in the year 2005-2006, the number reduced to 45% which however is still high. The government needs to support the initiative of development by promoting safety of women and the girl child. Banning female feticide and providing education is only the first step. The government must also work towards the rehabilitation of women trapped in the flesh trade. Legal relief to rape victims should be timely, because justice delayed is justice denied.
Even today, in many households in India, the girl child is discriminated against. It is the norm for men to eat first and whatever is left over is then eaten by the women in the house. The education of the boys is given more preference as against that of girls. If we have to achieve our goals of gender-equality, we must take more concrete steps towards women empowerment. Women empowerment can be achieved through education and legal safeguards. The youth of today must realize that in order to progress they have to keep the barriers of gender-discrimination aside and let women assume equal responsibilities. The government must in turn, ensure participation of more young women in the social arena through encouragement for participation in politics and social work. It must also support the NGOs working for the upliftment of women through effective funding and incentives.
4) Reduce Child Mortality.
Under this specific goal the UN has undertaken the responsibility to ‘reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate (U5MR) and the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR).’ The Infant Mortality Rate in India in the year 2006 was 58/1000 lives births. According to UNICEF studies, about 16 percent of under-five mortality in India could be prevented by the universal practice of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life (The Lancet Vol.362 , 2003). Mortality due to malnourishment is a big cause of concern in India. Curtailment of diseases like Polio, Diphtheria, Tuberculosis and measles are high on the list of UN. UNICEF has helped train female volunteers in India to administer polio vaccines. The anti-polio campaign spearheaded by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are quite successful so far in curbing the spread of the disease. According to the National Family Health Survey 2 and 3 (published by the Ministry of Health and Family welfare), the total immunization cover has increased from 42 percent in 1998-99 to 43.5 percent in 2005-06. However, the government till date organizes annual polio vaccination days so that people even in the remote areas of India could avail of free vaccination and this dreaded virus could be eliminated forever. Regular medical camps and free health check-ups are conducted in most villages to make sure that lack of diagnosis does not kill children. The government of India has increased the total expenditure on children’s heath to 3% of the GDP. So the funds are being allocated in the right direction. With this move, we now have hopes of achieving the MDG goals at least partially, if nothing else. Healthy children are the future of India and by not taking care to save the lives of children dying due to various reasons; we are wasting a huge resource that can be the face of a developed India.
Youth participation in providing health services can go a long way in improving some basic facilities for children, for e.g. unemployed youth can be encouraged to learn and teach pre-natal care. This required especially in the rural areas. These youth can be trained to provide basic healthcare like first aid during emergencies. They could also be trained to provide basic child care as well as help in vaccination campaigns. Brighter students can be employed to assist doctors in creating awareness regarding epidemics, especially while handling superstitious rural people. This will substantially solve the issue of unemployment for many rural youth.
5) Improve Maternal health

A mother plays an important role in the lives of children. Poor health of women may force children to assume the role of adult at a very young age. One in every ten births world-wide is to a teenage mother and the situation is worse in the LDC’s (least developed countries) with one out of every six babies being born to a young mother between 15 and 19 years of age (UN.ORG). Such early pregnancies are majorly responsible for most of the maternal deaths. The UN aimed to ‘reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio’. However, most of the developing regions are not anywhere close to achieving this goal. According to UNICEF reports, India’s Maternal Mortality Rate is the highest in the world. India holds the shameless record of 1 death every five minutes due to complications in pregnancy. The reason is pretty simple. Till date, in many villages across India, the delivery is supervised by an older woman, or a mid-wife, who is considered an expert at childbirth. The delivery usually happens at the pregnant woman’s house. As soon as she enters the labor phase of pregnancy, the mid-wife is called for help. However, in case of complications, the mid-wife is not equipped with any modern tools to assist the woman in the process of birth. Most don’t prefer taking their pregnant wives to a hospital due to superstitions, ignorance and fear. Many others just don’t have the money to do so. The government should make it convenient for the village folks by operating enough medical avenues in every village of the country, however small the village might seem. Improvement has been seen in the number of pregnancies attended by skilled personnel in recent times. However, death during delivery is just one of the factors contributing to MMR. Many women all over the world die due to unsafe abortions. A whopping 90% of India’s 6 million annual abortions are carried out in unhygienic and unsafe conditions (Kapilashrami, 2010). Usually, such unsafe pregnancies are carried out because of fear of social ostracism. Pregnancy for unmarried women is a social taboo. Hence such situations force women to undergo abortion in shady unsafe places. In India, the mortality for illegal abortions is almost 7.8 per 1000 abortions. What right do these illegal operators have to play with someone’s life? Plus sexually transmitted diseases, less gap between two pregnancies, lack of say in contraception – all add to the woes of a large percentage of Indian women. In spite of all the progress in medical science that India boasts of, it is highly distressing to see that 1 in every 70 Indian women die because of pregnancy related complications compared to one in every 7300 women in the developed countries (Varia, 2009). The attainment of this goal will depend on how empowered women are to take their own decisions. Youth, including young girls must take responsibility for their own actions. Women must realize that they have the right to say ‘no’ to repeated pregnancies.

Young people must be educated about reproductive health and sexual behavior. They must be made aware of the hazards of unsafe sex which are as dangerous as adolescent pregnancies, AIDS and other STDs. The government must support and fund the youth led organizations that work towards protecting women from sexual abuse and domestic violence.

6) Combat HIV/Aids, Malaria and other diseases
HIV, as a disease affects mostly the youth, worldwide. About 7000 young people are newly infected with HIV/AIDS every year. The current youth population living with AIDS amounts to around 11.8 million (UN.ORG). The UN in the MDGs has aimed to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015. It also proposed to ensure universal access to AIDS medicine to everyone irrespective of their economic status. It emphasized the eradication of Malaria and other deadly diseases. Most of the countries of the world are again, off-track on this goal as well. This is because most of these goals are inter-related. Let us consider for e.g. the relation between goal number 5 and 6. If mothers do not have access to proper medical facilities themselves, how can they prevent transmission of AIDS to their children? In 2004, almost 13 percent of new infections world-wide were children (UNICEF, 2004). Thus if we fall back on one goal, the other goals are equally affected. The UNICEF works with governments to ensure dissemination of information and education to the masses. In India, UNICEF does some remarkable work at the grass-root levels for e.g. the AASHA (AIDS Awareness and Sustained Holistic Action) programme conducted in Andra Pradesh. (UNICEF, 2010). The third phase of National Aids control programme (NACP) began in 2007 and will continue till 2012. As a part of this programme, in 2007 a NHS survey was conducted, the results of which stated that the HIV prevalence in India now stands at about 2.5 million (UNAIDS, 2008). Making medical services more accessible to people is the need of the day and the government is doing exactly that, for e.g. the number of centers providing ART (Anti-Retroviral Treatment) is estimated to reach 300 by this year end. The number of NGOs providing care and support to patients living with HIV is also increasing. Such continuous and grass-root level efforts can go a long way in assuring eradication of this monster of an epidemic. It is essential to encourage youth-led campaigns in schools and colleges, wherein young people can work as peer educators and counselors. Young people will be more willing to discuss sexual issues with a person of their age rather than someone elder. Hence, peer educators are the best bet to consider for sex education.
Malaria, Diphtheria, Tuberculosis (TB) and Measles are other deadly diseases that claim millions of lives annually the world-over. In 1997, the Directly Observed Treatment, Short course (DOTS) which is recommended for TB control by the WHO was launched. This is one of the fastest expanding programmes initiating almost 1 Lakh patients every month and thus being the second largest programme in the world in terms of population coverage (tbcindia.org). In India, after 2005, the funding for the Stop TB Programme was increased with global financial help (WHO, 2008). Thus with effective political commitment we can see good results. Accordingly for Malaria, the National Malaria Control Programme launched in April 1953 did prove tremendously successful initially. It succeeded in bringing down the incidence of malaria from 75 million registered cases in 1953 to 2 million in 1958 and only 5000 by the year 1961. However has begun to raise its ugly head again due to various operational and administrative failures (malariasite.com, 2004). Concentrated efforts to revive the Malaria control Programme are the only measure to curb the Malaria and other diseases.

7) Ensure Environmental Sustainability.
“Today, human activities are causing losses in biodiversity at a rate 50 to 100 times faster than would otherwise be expected.” (UNICEF). The UN aims at achieving sustainable development, however, without harming the ecological system. They also emphasize the need to make amends by reversing the damage that has already been done to the environment. Major importance is intended to be allotted to reducing the rate of biodiversity loss. They also would be working towards reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Another target under this goal would be to achieve significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020. These targets look pretty difficult considering the demands of today’s industrial world. Now let’s look at some facts and figures. According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (March 2005), there has been a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth, with some 10-30% of the mammal, bird and amphibian species threatened with extinction, due to human actions (Shah, 2010). Wanton poaching, reduction in grazing pastures, industrial activities and increase in temperature are major reasons for the extinction of many species of the flora and fauna. Animals like the Panda, Tiger, few species of the antelope, and many more species are on the verge of extinction thanks to the greed of human beings. More and more trees are being cut every other day for agricultural and industrial purposes, resulting in land erosion and natural disasters like floods and draughts. If we erode the variation in the life-forms on earth, ultimately one day it will affect us in the form of ecological imbalance. Every animal has a place and function in the eco-system. Disturbing this eco-balance is equal to playing with fire. The youth has a huge responsibility towards the environment. They are coming forward and participating in initiatives like ‘Save the Tiger’ and other such projects. They can further increase the momentum by helping NGOs perform better by spreading awareness about issues like global warming, ecological imbalance etc. Certainly, there is a marked improvement in some areas. The figures for household access to toilets were as low as 5% in 1990; however they have begun accelerating particularly during the last couple of years. However sanitation coverage was at 35% among the rural population and this figure needs to rise to 53% until 2015. (UNICEF, 2004) Till date a huge number of people in India do not have easy access to safe and potable water. Women in the rural areas have to walk miles to fetch water. These statistics show that there are still many roadblocks to progress and we have to step up the reform programs like the National Water Supply Programme (Swajaldhara) and the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC).
The programme of achieving environmental sustainability can certainly benefit from leadership skills by the youth. The Youth must be encouraged to participate in various awareness campaign related to the environment. Government as well as Non-Governmental Organizations must effectively involve youth organizations in planning and strategizing for environmental sustainability, for e.g. by organizing or funding youth-led water-harvesting initiatives, renewable energy development projects and waste-material and plastic recycling programmes.
8) Develop a Global partnership for Development
There is wide spread economic disparity not only within the countries of the world but also between them. The wide gap in the standard of living in the developed countries and the underdeveloped or developing countries is a matter of concern. In order to improve the standard of living of the impoverished countries, it is mandatory to bring about a global partnership between the nations of the world. The rich countries must support the development process in the poor countries through effective fund-raising and loan facilities. The poor countries on the other hand must ensure the proper allocation of the funds in the right direction and in the right task. According to the changing global scenario, they must bring about changes in their way of governance. The UN intended to achieve this very target through the 8th goal –to develop a global partnership for development. They committed themselves to good governance, development and poverty reduction on a national and international level. This has to be achieved by calculating and monitoring the net ODA (Official development assistance). The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (The OECD) is dedicated to bring the nations of the world together in terms of financial assistance and Co-operation. This organization monitors economic development in the member countries by collecting their economic data and analyzing them. The UN also plays a major role in negotiating with the pharmaceutical companies to provide affordable essential drugs to the poor countries. This is very essential because most of the other goals in the MDG are health related. If easy access to essential drugs is not provided to the LDCs, they will have least chances of bringing about any change in the health sector by 2015.
At the UN assembly in 1970 many rich countries of the world pledged to assist the poor countries of the world by giving about 0.7% of their GNP (which later on changed to GNI). However, it is interesting to note that almost all of these rich countries never fulfilled this promised rate of official development assistance. Let’s consider the example of The United States of America. Their share of developmental assistance has been the highest since 2001, if you consider it in terms of the total US dollars spent on aid. However, they were nowhere near to the 0.7% promised in 1970 UN assembly. In fact, even as their GNI increased, their aid for many poor countries was a fixed dollar amount, which means that their developmental assistance has in fact decreased (Shah, globalissues.org, 2010). These rich countries of the world also intended to assist the LDCs by reducing export tariffs and increasing quota, thus increasing market access to the least developed or developing nations. However, it turned out that many a time the aid they provided was attached to trade conditions often beneficial to the donor nations, for e.g. in return of foreign aid, they made the recipient country open up their markets for their overpriced foreign goods. Thus the aid they provided was recovered in terms of gains from selling their products in new markets. The rich countries had promised to provide debt relief to heavily indebted countries and help the development of small island countries and landlocked developing countries. Moreover they aimed at making debt sustainable for the developing countries through comprehensive action plans by measuring their HIPC completion points (Heavily indebted Poor countries) and providing debt relief accordingly. However, it has been observed that debt relief has political strings attached to it. Debt relief is a different aspect of economic co-operation and should not be confused with developmental aid. However, this is exactly what is happening. A remarkable part of developmental assistance is given in the form of debt write-off to poor countries, but one must understand that a debt write-off cannot aid the developmental process in the recipient country and hence beats the purpose of developmental assistance. This type of debt assistance is occasional and not sustainable (Shah, globalissues.org, 2010). It is important for the youth of today to know what kind of political games are being played by these so called rich countries of the world. In order, to turn the wheels around, the Indian youth must realize where increased consumerism is leading us. In many urban parts of our country, the youth has become so brand conscious that they consider over-priced foreign goods as better than Indian made less expensive goods. The youth, as responsible citizen of India, must take responsibility in changing this mentality. The young generation must realize that our growth as an economy will happen only when we reduce our dependence of foreign aid. We must use whatever current foreign aid available to us and develop indigenous products that will help us rake in money. We must not waste our resources in blindly spending on goods of foreign origin because; every time we do so, we are sending money out of our country.
The 8th goal of the MDGs also focuses on the employment development among the youth. It is not good news for an emerging nation like India to have a substantially high number of unemployed youth. The government has already taken many steps towards the empowerment of youth; notable among them are the TRYSEM (Training of Rural youth for self-employment) and the Gram Swarozgar Yojana for the rural youth. More and more young entrepreneurs should be encouraged to set up innovative business ventures. A recent advertisement in the Times of India is inviting applications from anyone who has an innovative business idea with a promise of turning the best ideas into actual ventures. Such initiatives should be very well funded and encouraged so that capable youth who lack the resources can get a stimulus for productive activity.
In keeping with one more target of the 8th goal, The UN, in collaboration with the private sector has brought about tremendous changes in the way the world communicates. Their premise that better communication and access to information can bring about revolutionary changes in the education of people has proved right. This access to information has shown tremendous positive effects in the field of health, commerce, education and related activities. Today almost everyone from an officer to a student over even a fruit-seller has a mobile phone. In December 2008, the Indian Prime minister Mr. Manmohan Singh had predicted that India will reach the 650 million mobile phone subscribers mark by 2012. In 2010, we have already crossed the 500 million mark. This stupendous growth is commendable. According to the International Telecommunication Union, India has more than 5 million internet users which is phenomenal for a country that has tremendous economic challenges. All this would have been unimaginable ten years ago. Information and communications technology has changed the face of our country. We must feel the pulse of modern time and make full use of this IT boom. Meritorious youngsters who want to set up businesses in the information and communication technology industry must be especially encouraged because this industry has tremendous potential for growth.
In spite of impressive growth in the IT sector, India must keep its feet firmly on the ground because we are lagging much behind on our other MDG goals. To compare our case with America will be a little difficult. The United States of America is an OECD nation and much of the financial assistance (albeit much less than what was promised) to the world comes from here. However, the continent of America also has the less developed Latin American and Caribbean parts. Most of the countries of Latin America, like India, have achieved their targets in some areas and are seriously off-track in some others. For e.g. according to the MDG report 2010, “the region has nearly reached the target of halving the prevalence of underweight children by 2015, with the proportion of children under five who are underweight dropping from 11 percent in 1990 to 6 percent in 2008.” They have also achieved marked improvement in child mortality rate, gender equality and women’s’ empowerment. They have achieved what many nations like many powerful countries like India could not achieve by giving extensive AIDS education to the masses, for e.g. the number of women receiving AIDS education doubled from 15 percent in 2000 to 34 percent in 2007. (MDG , 2010). However, they have achieved very less on the goal to achieve environmental sustainability. Wanton deforestation has occurred in parts of Southern America and the result of nature’s wrath has already been seen in the form of earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. If such irresponsibility towards nature continues, destruction will not be far away and any amount of progress that the world makes will be rendered meaningless. The MDGs aim at achieving progress on a global level but not at the cost of stripping the earth of its greenery. Hence, it is very important that rich and poor countries alike must strive to safeguard the earth from environmental depletion.
Ultimately, it’s the youth, the future citizens of the world that must enjoy the fruits of progress or suffer the horrors of natural disasters. There is no doubt that most of the countries are nowhere near achieving their MDGs and this is due to selfish economic policies of the rich countries and corruption rampant in the poor ones. So, it’s time for the youth all over the world to take control over corruption in politics. The youth worldwide do realize that non-achievement of these MDGs mean a bleak future for the entire world and not one country in particular. Strong political will and co-operation amongst nations are the only hope for a better future.
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