4 Aug 2009

Recession hits Pacific development, says McMullan

1:29 pm on 4 August 2009

The Australian government has released a report calling to account progress with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in the Pacific.

The Millennium Declaration, agreed to 2000 by 189 countries, set eight goals including reducing poverty, child mortality and HIV rates, and improving primary education, maternal health and environmental sustainability, by 2015.

Australia's Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, Bob McMullan, has released the second annual Tracking development and governance in the Pacific report, and says earlier progress in the region is slowing.

"The global recession is affecting the Pacific some of the very good progress we've made in the 1990's and the early part of this century has been reversed by the recession. There are some very good things happening but we need to do a lot more and we need to organise ourselves a lot better to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in these tougher economic times."

Mr Mc Mullan says progress has been particularly poor with the two Millennium Development Goals of limiting poverty in the Pacific and reducing the death rate of mothers in childbirth.