Metzl: Asia Leads in UN Millennium Goals

The United Nations General Assembly in session. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Asia's top leaders are in New York for the 65th meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.

On Tuesday, Asia Society Executive Vice President Jamie Metzl spoke to Bloomberg Radio about Asia's progress in fulfilling the UN's Millennium Development Goals.

Unveiled in 2000, the eight goals address poverty and hunger, education, child and maternal health, gender equality, HIV/AIDS, the environment, and global partnership. The initiative will culminate in 2015. 

"On these issues the most progress has been made in Asia," said Metzl, "but within Asia there are some really big challenges."

One growing area of concern is water security in Asia.

"The continent has two-thirds of the world's population and less fresh water than Antarctica," Metzl said. The UN General Assembly offers a forum for Asian leaders to discuss multilateral solutions to the looming water crisis. 

Other issues on the UNGA agenda include nuclear non-proliferation and human rights. Metzl said that none these issues will be resolved without cooperation from China, Asia's emerging superpower.

China's president, Hu Jintao, has elected not to attend the meetings, however.

Metzl expressed concern that "China hasn't proven itself willing to take [these issues] on."

For more Asia Society coverage of the UNGA, see the New York headquarters' full schedule of UNGA events.