Landmark UN report paints a picture of slow but steady progress for Solomon Islands

Jun 6, 2011

(Honiara, Solomon Islands) – The last six years, Solomon Islands did better in providing primary education for all and in reducing children’s and mothers’ deaths at or around childbirth. The country has thus made good progress towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals on those areas. It has to do more in the areas of promoting gender equality and empowering women and ensuring environmental sustainability. This is according to the latest Solomon Islands Millennium Development Goals Progress Report, 2010, launched in Honiara today. 

This new report follows the Solomon Islands Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report of 2004, and presents advances made towards achievement of the MDGs in the country, through a comprehensive review of successes, obstacles, challenges and opportunities. Solomon Islands’ record of progress in reducing deaths of mothers at or around the time of childbirth, and the presence of skilled healthcare providers during childbirth, is encouraging as global trends indicate challenges in these areas.     

Solomon Islands is one of the 189 countries committed to the Millennium Declaration and for achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015. The Millennium Development Goals Progress Report 2010 was officially launched by Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Danny Philip, and United Nations Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative, Knut Ostby.

“The results reproduced throughout this report show significant progress in the health and education, reasonable progress in reducing poverty and hunger, combating HIV, and building an effective development partnership. This is a very encouraging result for Solomon Islands given the difficult times that the country has passed over the last decade,” said the Minister of Development Planning and Aid Co-ordination, Snyder Rini.

At the launch, Mr Ostby said: “We should remember that achievements of the Millennium Development Goals are interrelated and mutually reinforcing.  Progress in one goal supports progress in others.  And it is agreed that promoting employment-intensive growth positively impacts on many of the MDGs.  Economic growth leads to higher employment and productivity levels, in turn increasing incomes of the poor, leading to higher consumption and investment—a virtuous cycle!  We must acknowledge that more needs to be done for stimulating employment growth in Solomon Islands.  

Over the next few years, establishing a plan for an accelerated path to MDG attainment between the Solomon Islands, UNDP and other international agencies is essential.” 

It is widely accepted that the MDGs are the highest articulation of internationally agreed development goals, and are associated with each country’s national and the United Nations development agenda. They are the world’s quantified time-bound targets for addressing extreme poverty, hunger and disease, while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability. They are also an expression of basic human rights – the rights of all to good health, education and shelter.