Millennium Development Goals (Sudan)


 In the year 2000, representatives of 189 member countries of the United Nations, including the Sudan, signed the Millennium Declaration. The Millennium Declaration was translated into eight time-bound development goals that represented the basic needs and conditions for human development: eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; achievement of universal primary education; promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women; reduction of child mortality; improvement of maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB and other diseases and ensuring environmental sustainability. For each goal a number of targets were specified and for each target a number of quantitative indicators were identified.

The year 2015 was earmarked as the last year of a timeframe for achieving the specified targets from their initial values in the year 1990.

 The political and security situation as well as the quality and availability of data, particularly in conflict areas, mandated that this first Millennium Development Goals Report (MDGR) be produced only as interim. The fourth population census was undertaken in 1993 and the fifth census, which should have been carried out in 2003 was not feasible because of the conflict. With the signature of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the top priority on the reconstruction and development agenda of both the national Government and the Government of South Sudan is the updating of vital statistics and data. This interim report will, therefore, be updated and integrated as soon as more accurate data and statistics are available to reflect a more accurate assessment of the status of the MDGs nationwide including the south.

 The above-mentioned political and data situation also mandated the form of this first MDGR for the Sudan. While the MDGR is produced as a unified report, it is composed of two separate sections: section A covering the Sudan and section B covering the South Sudan SPLM-controlled areas.

 The launch of the 2003 Human Development Report (HDR) in February 2004 gave added impetus to the process of preparing the first MDGR for the Sudan. The launch took place in Khartoum under the patronage of the Presidency and with full participation of key partners such as the Higher Council for Strategic Planning and the Ministry of International Cooperation as well as a wide representation of nongovernmental organizations such as the UN Association and was inaugurated by the Assistant President.

 The event was well attended, not only by policy makers and donors but also by civil society. The event, held in Khartoum, was web-cast to other areas of Sudan, demonstrating how technology can be used creatively for advocacy and outreach in a context like Sudan. The MDGs obtained good coverage from the press and other media together with the 2003 HDR. As a result of the launch, the Government pledged full support to the production of an MDG report for the first time. The official commitment by the GOS to the MDGR greatly facilitated the formation in June 2004 of a high-level ministerial committee, and a multisectoral technical committee that took forward the work on the MDGR. UNDP attended both government committees meetings as facilitator and catalyst to the MDGR preparation process. UNDP also played acoordination role vis--vis the UN agencies through convening coordination meeting and through supporting advocacy and technical workshops/meetings with relevant lead UN agencies designated by the Resident Coordinator (RC).

 The MDGs advocacy and reporting process was also extended to the South. UNDP supported the participation of some of the SPLM officials in global MDGs events. Section B of the report was prepared to cover specifically the South Sudan, SPLM-controlled areas. Senior SPLM officials in various secretariats, along with UN agencies, the World Bank and NGOs were consulted in the production of section B and contributed through the provision of sector-specific documentation or feedback. It is envisaged that the SPLM will establish a consultative mechanism on the MDGs with representatives of the relevant institutions of the Government of South Sudan (GOSS), the UN system, civil society and the private sector to foster understanding of their significance to the development strategy for South Sudan.

The Thematic Goal Groups (TGGs) under an RC-designated lead UN agency played a major role in technically backstopping the review and situation analysis of progress on each of the goals. The result of hard work by the GOS, TGGs, lead UN agencies and UNDP is that Sudan has a current credible, national report that will serve as an important base for future advocacy and monitoring of the MDGs.

 It is planned that in 2005, the MDGR process will go down to the regional level by initiating regional MDGR processes in three/four pilot regions, particularly conflict-affected ones. Civil society is expected to participate and monitor progress on implementing MDGs targets. Improvement in security in 2005 is expected to further enhance the quality of data and consequently assessment of the status of the MDGs nationwide.