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While the international community has already started discussing the development agenda that will build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015, it is all the more important to
accelerate efforts at all levels for achieving the MDGs by the target date.
This report documents the degree to which the eight goals based upon eighteen targets are on track to be fulfilled by 2015 in the Pan-European region.
The focus of the report is on the former transition economies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia,
but it also examines progress in all of the UNECE economies for several goals which still have not
been achieved in the advanced economies of Western Europe and North America. Generally the
report finds that significant progress was being made in almost every area prior to the global
financial crisis of 2008-2009, but the severe downturn during the crisis and sluggish recovery since 2009 has resulted in slower improvement. The crisis increased unemployment and poverty in much of the region and has significantly weakened government finances so that less is available for improving the educational and health infrastructure and in providing income maintenance for low income families. The deteriorating sovereign debt situation in the advanced economies has resulted in a scaling back of official development assistance which is desperately needed in much of the developing world to close the financing gap for achieving the targets. Unfortunately the economic outlook for the coming year for the UNECE region is quite subdued, and some of the goals may not be achieved without a more focused effort by our member States.