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28  SAM JOHNSTON

General Assembly and its member states, the cornerstones of the social pillar of sustainable development. In September 2010, a High-Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly reviewed progress towards the MDGs. This meeting concluded that “developing countries have made significant efforts towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals”. They have also had major successes in realizing some of the targets of the MDGS, particularly in “combating extreme poverty, improving school enrolment and child health, reducing child deaths, expanding access to clean water, improving prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, expanding access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care, and controlling malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases” (United Nations, 2010d). The meeting acknowledged that “much more needs to be done in achieving the Millennium Development Goals as progress has been ­uneven among regions and between and within countries. Hunger and malnutrition rose again from 2007 through 2009, partially reversing previous gains. There has been slow progress in reaching full and productive employment and decent work for all, advancing gender equality and  the empowerment of women, achieving environmental sustainability  and providing basic sanitation, and new HIV infections still outpace the number of people starting treatment.” Grave concern over the slow progress being made on reducing maternal mortality and improving ­maternal and reproductive health was also recorded (United Nations, 2010d). The General Assembly concluded the following to be the most important lessons of the MDG experience: • National ownership and leadership are indispensable in the development process • National efforts need to be supported by an enabling international ­environment • Good governance and the rule of law are essential for sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger • Gender equality and the eradication of poverty are essential to economic and social development An important message of the MDG experience is that the goals have offered a concrete vision and measurable targets to aspire and work towards, even if the record of achievement is mixed. They have mobilized action at all levels and have become an important focus for the international community. Providing this focus has allowed greater cooperation and a more efficient use of resources (United Nations, 2010c). The reaffirmation by the General Assembly of the validity of the MDGs and the relatively successful experience of their implementation since 2000 means

Green Economy and Good Governance for Sustainable Development: Opportunities, Promises and Concerns  
Green Economy and Good Governance for Sustainable Development: Opportunities, Promises and Concerns  

Debates on green growth and environmental governance tend to be general in nature, and are often conceptual or limited to single disciplines...