In September world leaders adopted the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). According to the 2015 Pacific Regional MDGs Tracking report, Forum island countries made considerable progress towards achieving the goals but challenges remain.
A majority of the countries achieved universal primary education and were successful in reducing child mortality. Half of the Forum island countries improved maternal health and ensured environmental sustainability.
Many countries were able to combat major diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. However, most countries faced obstacles in achieving benchmarks set for poverty and gender equality.
“Strong political leadership and commitment were the catalyst for our region’s substantial progress. As we work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) we must build on these achievements and learn from our experience with the MDGs.” said Dame Meg Taylor, PIFS Secretary General.
The SDGs comprise 17 goals and 169 targets. Discussions are currently underway to develop global indicators to measure these goals and targets. At their recent meeting, Forum Leaders recognized that there is merit in tailoring the global indicators to better reflect the Pacific context through a country-driven open and inclusive process.
“The MDGs were global goals and applying them at the national level was difficult. In addition many of the MDG indicators did not suit the national context. We need therefore to be more mindful of the many realities at play in the Pacific and ensure that the SDGs we adopt align with national and regional priorities.” said Dame Meg.
Tailoring the global SDGs indicators complements work planned to develop high-level regional monitoring under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism. The Forum Secretariat will use existing mechanisms such as the CROP Sustainable Development Working Group and the National Sustainable Development Strategy Partnership Group to assist Forum island countries respond to the challenge of theSDGs.