MDG 5, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND MATERNAL HEALTH IN AFRICA
maternal health, the international community crafted MDG 8, requiring
affluent countries in the Global North (wealthy countries) to carry along
their counterparts in the Global South (developing nations) in the march
towards better health and wellbeing for all.235 This critical obligation
consistent with the U.N. Charter236 and General Comment No(s). 3237 and
14,238 places a broad duty on industrialized countries to cooperate with
Third World countries in the latter’s bid to attain the various targets and
benchmarks of the MDGs.239 As argued elsewhere:
MDG 8 has an omnibus character in that it charts multiple avenues of
assistance for developing countries, including reforming the global
trading and financial system, debt relief, improved access to essential
drugs, technology transfer and so forth. Encapsulated within this omnibus
provision is a requirement for more generous official development
assistance (ODA) to countries committed to poverty reduction.240
Although the current ODA level falls short of expectations, significant
progress is occurring, whittling down the force of resource constraints as
explicatory of stagnating health indices in Africa.241
Aside from the AAAQ principles, the CESCR provides another
important guidance to recognize when countries promote and facilitate
maternal health and other aspects of the right to health.242 By specifying
three levels of obligations incumbent on States Parties, namely the
235. See OFFICIAL LIST OF MDG INDICATORS, supra note 4.
236. See U.N. Charter art. 1, para. 3 (stipulating, as one of the purposes of the U.N.,
“[t]o achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic,
social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and . . . promoting and encouraging respect for
human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex,
language, or religion . . .”); see also U.N. Charter art. 13, para. 1 (imposing upon the General
Assembly of the U.N., under whose aegis the Millennium Declaration was adopted in 2000,
the obligation to initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of, inter alia,
“promoting international cooperation in the economic, social, cultural, educational, and
health fields, and assisting in the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms for
all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.”).
237. See General Comment No. 3, supra note 149, paras. 13-14.
238. See General Comment No. 14, supra note 149, paras. 38, 45 (recognizing the
developmental disparities between the countries and advocating for support from developed
239. E.g., OFFICIAL LIST OF MDG INDICATORS, supra note 4 (stating the that MDG 8. B is
to develop a global partnership to address the “special needs of the least developed
240. Nnamuchi & Ortuanya, supra note 4, at 180.
241. For an in-depth study of the role of MDG 8 in attaining the health-related
benchmarks of the MDGs, see generally id.
242. See, e.g., General Comment No. 14, supra note 149, para. 33 (describing the three
types of obligations for States Parties: “to respect, protect, and fulfill”).