By: Insider on June 07, 2012 MDG tracking: The United Nations today launched an online platform that will track the progress on the financial and policy commitments made by countries towards realizing the anti-poverty and social development targets known as the Millennium Development Goals. “Starting today, we have a tool that is available and accessible to anyone in the world – a one-stop shop to monitor all commitment made by Member States to help meet the Millennium Development Goals,” Mr. Ban said at an informal meeting of the General Assembly to launch the Integrated Implementation Framework (IIF) website. He added that while the IIF will not solve the challenge of ensuring delivery on commitments, it will help to “increase accountability and strengthen global partnerships.” In addition, the website aims to serve as a resource for policymakers, academics, researchers and civil society interested in what governments have done in support of the achievement of the MDGs, and as a springboard for discussions on the post-2015 development agenda. The IIF site will also help to monitor commitments made by countries at Rio +20. UNICEF/Bed Nets: A reduction in the price of bed nets that protect people from malaria will allow the UNICEF to save some $22 million over the next year, the head of the agency announced today. “Especially at a time of financial uncertainty, these savings are good news for Governments and even better news for children,” said UNICEF’s Executive Director, Anthony Lake, during the annual session of the UNICEF Executive Board in New York. According to a UNICEF news release, the price of an insecticide-treated, long-lasting bed net has dropped to under $3. SG on Rio: At a press conference at UN headquarters today, the Secretary-General today urged countries to step up efforts to achieve concrete decisions to reduce poverty while promoting decent jobs, clean energy and more sustainable and fair use of resources. With just two weeks until the start of a major United Nations sustainable development conference, The Secretary-General cited several “concrete outputs” he expected from Rio+20, which he said will improve the lives of people around the world. The first is to agree to define a path to an inclusive green economy that will lift people from poverty and protect the global environment. Second, leaders should agree to define sustainable development goals with clear and measurable targets and indicators. These so-called “SDGs” will be a central part of the post-2015 global development framework, he stated. Also needed are decisions on key elements of the institutional framework for sustainable development, as well as strong, action-oriented outcomes on a wide range of cross-cutting areas, such as food security and sustainable agriculture, oceans, gender equality and women’s empowerment, education and energy. Progress is also required in the area of implementation, including reaffirming past commitments and initiatives on trade, financing for development, technology transfer and capacity building, the UN chief said. LRA: The Ugandan rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) remains among the most persistent perpetrators of grave violations against children, says a new United Nations report. The SG’s first report to the Security Council on the situation of children affected by the LRA documents violations committed against children, and measures taken to address the LRA threat between July 2009 and February 2012. Over the reporting period, at least 591 children, including 268 girls, were abducted and recruited by the LRA, mostly in the DRC, but also in the Central African Republic and in South Sudan.