Monday, July 19, 2010

MDG Advocacy Group Holds First Meeting

This past Friday, the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Advocacy Group met in Madrid for its first meeting. The group, whose 19 members range from Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (currently Co-Chair) to Microsoft founder Bill Gates, was established in June to help further the realization of the Goals.

In his speech at the meeting, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized the importance of the Group's task of heightening understanding and support for the Goals. "This Group will identify strategic opportunities. You will help build awareness. You will help translate the rhetoric of good intentions into results-- real results for real people."

According to the Secretary General, 9 out of 10 people are unaware of the details of the MDGs. However, upon being explained the specifics, 90% of them agree that the achievement of the Goals should be a top priority for world leaders.

In September, government officials and other prominent figures from around the world will meet in New York for the MDG Summit. The summit is intended to serve as a turning point for the implementation of the Goals, providing governments with clear action plans to meet the 2015 target date to halve global poverty.

-Andrew Oestreich