x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

UN in talks with Emirates for update on Millennium Goals

The last UAE report on the MDGs was issued in 2007. The report noted the Emirates had the potential to meet every one of the goals.

ABU DHABI // While the New York summit discusses aid to developing countries, UN representatives are in talks with government officials to compile a report on the country's own progress. The last UAE report on the MDGs was issued in 2007. The report noted the Emirates had the potential to meet every one of the goals. 

"The 2007 report highlighted the progress made in the UAE on goals such as education and gender equality," Dr Elissar Sarrouh, the new UN resident coordinator and the UN Development Programme's (UNDP) resident representative to the UAE, said yesterday. "We are now in discussions with the UAE government to update the report." According to Dr Sarrouh, an updated report would help to determine how far the UAE has come in its efforts to meet the MDGs. Based on information contained in the 2007 report, the country is "on the right track", she said.

"The UAE has been able to meet the majority of the goals and is continuing to meet the remaining goals and their targets," the 2007 report noted. The report was issued jointly by the Ministry of Economy and UNDP. A new report, expected to be made public next year, would provide an updated look at the UAE's progress towards reaching the eight targets. According to Dr Sarrouh, key focus areas for the UAE include environmental and health issues.

"There is more work that can be done, but there has definitely been a strong commitment shown by the UAE to achieve the MDGs," she said. "I think if we do an update, it will show there has been a strong performance, and identify where there are still challenges. I am confident there will be a further step in the right direction." Progress reports on the MDGs are generally issued by countries every two to three years, Dr Sarrouh said.

"We are encouraging all countries to update all of their information," she said, speaking at an event in the capital yesterday to coincide with the three-day MDG summit in New York. Muktar Ali Farah, the head of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs liaison office in the UAE, agreed the UAE had made "significant progress" in efforts to meet its own MDGs and highlighted the UAE's role in providing humanitarian and development assistance to other countries.

During the meeting, Dr Sarrouh also described the UAE as an important emerging donor state, highlighting the role played by the country in providing assistance to poor countries around the world. @Email:zconstantine@thenational.ae