File Photo (Xinhua/REUTERS)
UNITED NATIONS, April 1 (Xinhua) -- UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said Monday that the global risk of maternal death has declined by 40 percent since 1994.
"Since 1994, fewer persons are living in extreme poverty, the risk of maternal death has declined by more than 40 percent and primary education has expanded the horizons of millions of people," Mohammed told the 52nd substantive session of the UN Commission on Population and Development.
"This year marks the 25th anniversary of a landmark achievement in global cooperation: the adoption of the far-reaching Program of Action at the International Conference on Population and Development, held in Cairo in 1994," she said, adding that the program of action "provides a comprehensive review of the multiple linkages between population and development."
The UN deputy chief, however, noted that "there are gaps in implementation, and many challenges remain."
"Our efforts on some Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not keeping pace with population growth. When we look at targets on poverty in the least developed countries, or on child marriage, or people living in urban slums, while the percentage of affected persons may be declining, their number is still rising," said Mohammed.
"Progress has also proved uneven. Globally, women's demand for family planning is increasingly being met using modern contraceptive methods. Yet, in 44 countries, less than half this demand is being met, and in many countries, we are seeing past gains eroded by a pushback on women's rights," she added.
Mohammed pointed out that "it is time for the world to show greater ambition and urgency around SDG implementation that is fully aligned with the Cairo Program of Action."
"First, we must put gender equality at the core of each and every SDG intervention - whether in the social, economic or environmental realms, and whether in the work of government, business or civil society," she said.
"Second, we must do much more to deliver universal access to quality education, in particular for young girls," she noted.
"Third, we are in a race against time to make the systemic adjustments needed to avert major changes in the earth's climate, which threaten lives and livelihoods, especially in coastal areas," said the deputy UN chief.
The Commission on Population and Development is one of the 10 functional commissions of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). At its establishment by ECOSOC in October 1946, the commission's name was "Population Commission" and in December 1994, was changed to "Commission on Population and Development."
The goal of the commission is the follow-up to the implementation of the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.