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KUALA LUMPUR, 28 APRIL 2011 – The Economic Planning Unit (EPU) together with the United Nations (UN) jointly unveiled the Malaysia: Millennium Development Goals at 2010 report today at an event officiated by the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Y.B. Dato’ S.K Devamany. He was joined by UN Resident Coordinator to Malaysia, Mr. Kamal Malhotra and EPU Director General ,Dato’ Noriyah binti Ahmad.

Prepared by the UN in Malaysia in close cooperation with the EPU, the Report for the first time assesses both progress at the national levels as well as by state, rural-urban location, gender, age, ethnicity, disability and other disaggregated categories. The collaborative effort involving various ministries and UN agencies in the country sought to identify inequalities in income, education and health to ensure more targeted interventions for these vulnerable populations.

According to UN Resident Coordinator to Malaysia, Mr. Kamal Malhotra, the Report highlights Malaysia’s impressive achievements, in aggregate terms, towards the MDGs, including in poverty eradication, universal primary education and child survival. Mr. Malhotra however cautioned the need to address disparities and inequalities that are accompanying Malaysia’s progress towards the MDGs.

“There are some persistent areas of concern and new issues which have emerged which are now urgent in view of Malaysia’s ambitions to promote inclusive development and become a high-income, developed nation by 2020,” said Mr. Malhotra. “The MDGs on which Malaysia needs to make accelerated national level progress at this stage include maternal mortality, universal access to reproductive health, the share of women in managerial positions and political representation, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.”

Amongst others, the Report seeks to identify regions and sub-national population groups which have been left behind or left out as well as emerging issues that have become important as a consequence of Malaysia’s chosen development path. This Review also will help the Government with its commitment to the MDG-Plus agenda through the Tenth Malaysia Plan which has allocated 30 per cent of the five year development agenda to the social sector.

In keeping with the spirit and intent of the MDGs to promote equitable and inclusive development, and to localise the goals, making them relevant to country-specific realities, circumstances and aspirations, Mr. Malhotra urged the Government and people of Malaysia to use the Report as a guide to tackle the inequalities and address the challenges highlighted.

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