Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

Speaking Out for the Millennium Development Goals

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What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Monday, November 10, 2008

Refugees Across the Globe - A Millennium Problem

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The last few days have been filled with more learning, studying and research (as well as "real" life work) than in actually writing anything in either of my blogs. Today, however, is the 10th of November and I had committed to creating a post on Refugees on behalf of BloggersUnite. Their work is focusing on Refugees Unite. My post is going to tie this issue with that of the Millennium Development Goals.

There is the question of how many in the world are now refugees because the Millennium Goals have not, and in many of those countries more likely to have refugees populations, are not close to being met.

Refugees face all of the problems that the Millennium Development Goals endeavor to address. Those problems are made far worse because these families are without a country. Getting essential help to refugees is at a minimum difficult, because they are in remote and isolated locations often decimated by natural causes or war, and is in many cases dangerous.

I decided that for this post that I would see what was available from the resources I have connected to this blog. My research did find some successes as in this article from IRIN NEPAL: Bhutanese refugees find new life beyond the camps

Thousands of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal have been successfully resettled in seven countries, including the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Canada, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
In other news from Business and Human Rights PricewaterhouseCoopers donates $4 million to educate Darfur's refugees. SciDev.Net cites the work of International Organisation for Migration
The IOM was established in 1951 as an intergovernmental organisation to resettle European displaced persons, refugees and migrants.

The news, however, is usually catastrophic as in this International Tribune story Congo refugee camp hit by cholera outbreak. Unlike many migrants in the world today, refugees did not make the choice to leave their homes, it was forced upon them. Sometimes by nature, but all too often by malignant force, IPS writes on the crimes against humanity including refugees by the Myanmar Junta.

An increasing number of refugees have been crossing over to northern Thailand from among the Karen ethnic community, the second largest ethnic group in Burma, or Myanmar. Many of them live in the mountainous Karen State, the territory where South-east Asia's longest --and largely ignored -- separatist conflict is being waged between Burmese troops and the armed wing of the Karen National Union (KNU).

''Myanmar's troops are overtly targeting civilians; they are actively avoiding KNU military installations. That is why we are describing the attacks as 'crimes against humanity','' says Benjamin Zawacki, South-east Asia researcher for Amnesty International (AI), the global rights lobby. ''The violations are widespread and systematic.''

We must also look to ourselves when blaming others for the blight of refugees. The Overseas Development Institute posted last year on the blight of Iraqi refugees.

The United Nations deals with these problems around the world. Thousands of refugees from Darfur remain along volatile border, Chad: UN distributes aid to refugees left homeless after camp, (more results from www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp), UNRWA: palestine refugees, or What's Going On?: Child Refugees in Tanzania are just a few examples.

There are dozens of more examples that could be found. What is made obvious is that these tragedies are prevalent across the globe and persistent in their nature. Unlike the Millennium Development Goals, which though consisting of 8 goals are seen interrelated and requiring comprehensive action, refugee crises seem to be seen as separate problems. If the world were a human body, the problem of refugees would be analogous to the symptoms of a disease such as cancer, but the challenges of the Millennium Development Goals would be analogous to the underlying disease itself. If you treat only the symptoms you will never address the underlying cause. If the Millennium Goals were now in place so that disasters and war were not as capable of pushing countries beyond the brink of disaster, then would that make the problem of refugees in the world so much easier to prevent and to address.

Millennium Bloggers (more at the Wiki)

Global News Sources

The Other Blog - My Pathways to New Paradigms

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