6 April 2013 - New York - The United Nations has called for accelerated action in the next 1000 days from governments, international organizations and civil society groups to reach the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their deadline at the end of 2015.
"The MDGs are the most successful global anti-poverty push in history," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon."The Goals have helped set global and national priorities, mobilize action, and achieve remarkable results," he added.
The two tuberculosis (TB) targets associated with the MDGs are to halt and begin to reverse the epidemic by 2015 and to cut the TB death rate by half in the same period.
The world is on track to meet the first target. However, at the current rate of progress, the African and European regions are not currently on track to meet the mortality target.
"The MDGs have proven to be critical in securing political commitment and funds to fight TB," said Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership. "Using the knowledge gained in the past 13 years, we must now accelerate our efforts both to meet the MDG targets and to ensure that there is no unfinished business after 2015."
The Stop TB Partnership joined UN agencies, partners and individuals for a 1000 minute digital rally to mark the start of the 1000 day countdown. Organized in partnership with the UN Foundation, participants organized a series of online discussions on twitter, facebook and other social media platforms.
The UN announcement follows a World TB Day event in Swaziland at which health leaders from government, international agencies and civil society launched an accelerated response to the TB and TB/HIV epidemics in Africa.
The health leaders signed the Swaziland Statement, committing them to work with Southern African Development Community (SADC) Countries to achieve the targets of cutting deaths from TB and HIV-associated TB by half by 2015, compared to 1990 levels.