In 2012, south Asia accounted for 2.1 million of the 6.6 million deaths in children under five worldwide and with 1.4 million children dying before reaching their fifth birthday, India had the highest child mortality rate worldwide, said the report which tracks progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The eight MDGs, with a number of sub-targets covering a range of poverty, hunger, health, gender equality, education and environmental indicators, were agreed by all countries as an outgrowth of the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, most with a due date of 2015.
Human development is a guiding principle of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government having a mandate for development of all, in an inclusive manner, union Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah said while releasing the report. "The prime minister has given special emphasis for giving highest priorities of the government for provision of adequate sanitation, drinking water, maternal and child care, particularly to the disadvantaged sections," she said. Lise Grande, United Nations resident coordinator for India, said: "India's role in global development is the most important in the world. The MDGs can't be reached globally if they are not reached here." "The new post 2015 framework cannot succeed if it does not reflect the aspirations, and does not have the commitment and support of India. "India's commitment to reach the MDGs has been an inspiration to countries around the world; its leadership now in defining the new framework has never been more important," she added.
The report said south Asia has made great progress on the MDGs, but requires greater efforts to achieve most targets by the end of 2015. In South Asia, the adjusted net enrolment rate of children of primary school age increased from 80 percent in 2000 to 94 percent in 2012. (IANS)