Azerbaijan, Baku, 27 May / Trend A.Akhundov /
Azerbaijan has made significant progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the UN member countries and all leading development organisations in the world, UN resident coordinator in Azerbaijan Antonius Broek and head of the Baku Office of the World Bank (WB) Larisa Leshchenko stated on Monday at a seminar entitled 'The goals of sustainable development - national consultations in Azerbaijan'.
The eight development objectives stated in the Millennium Development Goals, starting with the reduction of extreme poverty to halt the spread of HIV / AIDS and providing universal primary education by 2015, constitute a programme adopted by all countries and leading development organisations of the world. They have galvanised unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the poorest in the world.
According to Broek, Azerbaijan has already achieved many of the goals of the Millennium including the improvement of social services and poverty reduction.
"In recent years, the economy of Azerbaijan has demonstrated high growth rates. The oil and gas industry and efficient use of its revenues have played a big role in this direction. However, a lot of work still needs to be undertaken to continue the process of reducing poverty in the country, the diversification of the economy and so forth.
"The concept of long term development set out in 'Azerbaijan 2020: vision of the future' was developed with this purpose in mind and aims to increase exports in the non-oil sector of the economy and ultimately reduce poverty. If these goals are achieved Azerbaijan will enter the list of countries with high average income and in the future, the group of countries with high income.
"Moreover, Azerbaijan is successfully progressing towards a group of countries with high human capital development which is reflected in UN reports. Quantitative indicators are important. However quality changes are needed, especially in the areas of education, health, social services," Broek said.
According to him, in order to determine the goals for the period after 2015, the UN has started discussions with 100 countries, including Azerbaijan.
According to Leshenko, Azerbaijan has made progress in the area of poverty reduction, primary education and the fight against HIV infection, but in order to achieve all the Millennium goals, Azerbaijan should pay great attention to the opening of new jobs, regional development and inclusive growth of the economy.
In addition in her view, the state should focus on the development of human capital to achieve the goals of economic diversification.
The eight Millennium Development Goals are as follows: elimination of absolute poverty and hunger, providing universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and forming a global partnership for development.