Saturday, September 27, 2008

Reporting from the Millennium Goals Conference

This is Borgen Project member Caroline Schley reporting from the UN Conference on the Millennium Development Goals at the NYC United Nations headquarters in midtown Manhattan. This week has been a busy one in New York, with events and conferences being held in every available meeting space within a five block radius of the United Nations headquarters. Dignitaries and Heads of State from all over the world have been in town to discuss their country's roles in meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Billboards advertising the bullet points of the eight Millennium Development goals line the eastern blocks of 42 Street and each day various national pride parades have been held in midtown.

Amid all this activity the meetings convening find sanctity and provide an rare and cherished opportunity for networking, discussion and brainstorming. The speakers I have seen have represented every imaginable level of involvement and commitment to the Millennium Development Goals. I saw a young mother from the Brooklyn Young Mothers Collective speak about the dangers of poverty promoting the AIDS virus in New York City. The Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea spoke about the severe poverty in his country as a cause for environmental degradation. One theme was a common thread through all the events: Within the eight Millennium Development Goals the reduction and eradication of severe poverty is an important first step in achieving progress on all fronts of development.