South Africa's Millennium Development Goals

Pretoria - While acknowledging progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) over the past decade, South Africa says there are still gaps and unevenness in achieving these development goals.

Speaking at the UN headquarters in New York, President Jacob Zuma said strengthening the Global Partnership for Development and building on the existing commitments was crucial to achieving development post the 2015 deadline.

He identified the right to development as a key to strengthening the Global Partnership to achieve the MDGs.

The right to development provides an integrated, holistic and cohesive framework for achieving just and equitable development for all, including the attainment of human dignity and equality.

It is also a guide for development in the areas of development aid, trade liberalisation, investment promotion, market access and debt relief, and will thus provide States with a better chance of attaining the MDGs.

Zuma was of the view that the Post-2015 Development Agenda must be guided by the spirit of equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness and universality.

"The eradication of poverty and hunger, as well as combatting inequality at all levels must be at the centre stage of the development agenda. The post-2015 development should also be cognisant of the different countries' conditions and their respective development stages," said the President.

Accordingly, the Global Development Partnership must adhere to the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", Zuma said, reaffirming the importance of an appropriate balance and level of integration between inclusive economic growth, social development and environmental sustainability.

Additionally, the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Zuma said, must take into account regional priorities and existing continent-wide initiatives.

Zuma said support for Africa's socio-economic blueprint, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), should be strengthened.