Assessing progress toward Millennium Development Goals

Scores of world leaders assembled in New York and vowed to accelerate progress on the eight Millennium Development Goals to ward off a looming failure to meet the targets by 2015. They adopted an extensive 31-page document that reaffirms their determination to reach the goals, such as reducing poverty and hunger, increasing access to education, boosting maternal health and combating disease. To keep the pressure on, the document asks for annual reports on where the goals stand, plus another special summit on the matter in 2013. Read more here.

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UN: Small-scale farmers can benefit by working with agriculture investors

New York: Investments in agriculture in developing countries can be structured in a way that they become an alternative to large-scale land acquisitions to ensure that small-scale farmers do not lose their land rights, according to the findings of a United Nations-backed study released today. International initiatives on agricultural investments should go beyond trying to minimize the negative impacts of large-scale land acquisitions and, instead, promote investment models that improve opportunities for local smallholders, according to the report published by the International Institute for Environment and Development. Read more here.