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


What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Monday, September 28, 2009

BloggersUnite for Stand Up Take Action End Poverty Now!

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As of this writing the Stand Up Take Action End Poverty Now! Global Event is less than 17 days 20 hours and 16 minutes and some seconds away. For more information on this important event see the right hand column of this blog.

Finally got registered at the Home Page | Stand Against Poverty Take Action End Poverty Now! site and submitted the Bloggers Unite event created especially for this cause.

Here is the event at the Stand Up site. BloggersUnite for Stand Up Take Action End Poverty Now!. The widget they provided takes you to additional information and has an e-mail reminder.

So far there are 5 bloggers, besides myself participating, but I hope for more. I will also be blogging for other similar events going on at the same time - World Food Day , The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and Stand Up Against Corruption and Poverty. This way I and anybody else can get at least twice the bang for their posts. The more people that participate, by whatever means, the more the United Nations Millennium Campaign gets to count.

Anybody who wants to Join This Event needs to part of BloggersUnite.

Here is a Map showing where other Stand Up events across the globe will be going on.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reaching Out Helping Women Realize the Millennium Development Goals

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I received a request from Amnesty International requesting support for women in Sierra Leone. It fits in with 3 of the Millennium Development Goals 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health .

One in eight Sierra Leonean women die giving birth. Health care facilities are understaffed, lack basic equipment and medicines and are far from people's homes. Pregnant women and their families struggle to afford the costs of getting to a hospital and the costs of the care they would receive there.
  • A higher proportion of women in Sierra Leone die in childbirth and pregnancy than almost anywhere else in the world
  • Women and their families are forced to negotiate and pay for equipment and medications, and provide their own food and water, while they're in a health facility, at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives
  • Most people live far away from a medical facility and cannot afford transportation costs to a hospital or doctor

So I signed the letter the following letter to help make sure that no more lives are cut short. Urge Sierra Leone's government to make maternal health a priority.

Dear President Koroma,

I am very distressed to hear of the high risks that women in Sierra Leone face in pregnancy and childbirth. I understand that more women in Sierra Leone die during childbirth than almost anywhere else in the world.

I respectfully urge you to make every effort to guarantee the health and well-being of pregnant women. Access to maternal health care services would be improved by allocating more money to health within the budget, by addressing the mismanagement of resources, by ensuring hospitals are better supplied and medical staff paid adequate salaries and by providing women and girls with information about their health and reproductive rights.

It is your duty as President to ensure that the right to life and the right to health of all Sierra Leonean women are respected and protected. The government of Sierra Leone should ensure that costs are not a barrier to essential health services, including emergency obstetric care and other reproductive health services.

Yours sincerely,
Brian Dowling

What would be even better is empowering women to help themselves. The story and video below provide two examples, One from the Stand Up Take Action Campaign and one from Care. It is only natural that I use it in a blogging post as this year the Stand Up Take Action End Poverty Now! event, taking place on October, 16th is intended to give a clear focus on holding governments accountable for improving the status of women and their rights.

Kenyan Women Use ‘Stand Up’ to Stop Harassment, Fight for Maternal Health By Monica Omollo

“Stand Up provided a platform for me to bring together the voices of rural women to speak out about issues affecting them,” she said. “It provides an opportunity to empower rural women and ensure that they understand that they have the power to change their current circumstances through advocacy.”Monica organized the first-ever public anti-poverty rally in the Nyanza province, about 300 km outside Nairobi. The event was presided over by Ida Odinga, the wife of current Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga.“The rally was considered unusual because most public rallies in this area have been political and hosted by politicians looking for votes,” she said. “The public was therefore very happy that we were out to find common solutions for their problems.”

Avaaz Wake Up Call WOW

Sphere: Related Content Here is the Avaaz take on the efforts for climate change across the globe last Monday. Some may question how much impact these efforts actually had, but one means of enhancing that impact is to reblog and mash these features into other outlets. I threw in the Gordon Brown interview from No 10.
Wow. Monday's Wake Up call was unbelievable - 2632 events in 134 countries, tens of thousands of phone calls crashing government lines, unbelievable creativity and diversity of events, directly reaching heads of state and cabinet ministers from Australia to Europe. Words can't describe it -- this video gets close:

Click here to learn more about the video.
The Wake Up call was covered by hundreds of major news outlets and made the evening news everywhere from Germany to New Zealand. Europe's environment chief praised "the mobilisation of so many people by", the UK Prime Minister became the first major world leader to agree to our demand to go to Copenhagen and said that with "the pressure that can brought by organizations like yours...what people think is impossible can become possible".

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tell the G20 to go to Africa Again. Why Africa? Ask Africa or Draw the G20 a Picture

Sphere: Related Content The folks from ONE are again asking everybody to Ask the G20 to go to Africa.
Africa must be part of the global economic recovery, and we can help make that happen by asking the G20 to hold an upcoming summit in Africa.

I have already signed and as of this post they have 76,846 which means they reached 76% of their NEW goal of 100,000 signers. This is a reblog of a couple of ONE emails, but hopefully it does some good and arguably the push to have the G20 meeting in Africa can continue after Pittsburgh.

ONE is taking two approaches. One is from Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank.

In my job as President of the African Development Bank, I see the potential of Africa every day. But it is necessary that the G20 see that potential, too—and include Africa in their plans for a new global economic foundation.

That is why I support ONE in asking the leaders of the G20 nations to hold an upcoming summit in Africa. Bringing the G20 to Africa would make it impossible to ignore the role Africa must play in any successful global economic recovery. You can click this link to sign ONE's petition and add your voice to this urgent campaign:
The petition reads:Dear G20 Leaders,
Please hold an upcoming G20 Summit in Africa, and see for yourselves how its one billion people can be part of the global economic recovery.

As this group of twenty of the most powerful world leaders gather in Pittsburgh this week, I hope you'll join me in asking them to host an upcoming summit in Africa and see for themselves that Africa is part of the solution:
The other is mural is in the middle of downtown Pittsburgh, where the G20 – a group made up of the leaders of twenty of the world's most powerful nations.

This stunning visual petition asks those leaders to host a future summit in Africa and focus the attention of the world on how Africa can be part of a stronger, more stable global economy.
And trust me, the presidents, prime ministers, and members of the media following them here in Pittsburgh won't be able to miss it.

Ask others to add their voices and check out this powerful message-by-mural, and you'll be doing everything possible to tell the G20 to host an upcoming summit in Africa:
Related Posts:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

No Leadership or Consensus Regarding Climate Change as Nations Meet

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The New York Times now has the same storyline as the China Daily News and that is that the new climate change agreement is in trouble. The problem is that there is neither a consensus nor a leader arising to form the consensus required as called for in this Note from the Secretary-General to Heads of States and Governments on Mobilizing Political Momentum for Copenhagen.

SCIENCE / ENVIRONMENT | September 20, 2009 No Climate Change Leader as Nations Meet
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR: As nations gather for a major summit meeting on climate change, none want to take the lead in fighting for significant international targets.
While virtually all of the largest developed and developing nations have made domestic commitments toward creating more efficient, renewable sources of energy to cut emissions, none want to take the lead in fighting for significant international emissions reduction targets, lest they be accused at home of selling out future jobs and economic growth.
The problem is that there isn't consensus at any geographical level even when there should be common goals.

SOUTH ASIA: Disunity Hovers over a Region Battling Climate Change - IPS
KATHMANDU, Sep 20 (IPS) - As the Copenhagen Conference on climate change draws nearer, South Asia, which appears poised for severe threats from the impacts of climate change, faces a stiff challenge on two fronts.

For one, South Asia’s member states – home to half the world’s poor – need to convince the developed world to take steps toward the mitigation of future climate-related risks in the region.

For another, divergence of ideas among these countries over some crucial issues arising from the impact of this global concern on the region is a potential stumbling block to training some of the global climate change spotlight on South Asia.

The World Bank World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change demonstrates that this lack of cooperation and lack of consensus will most negatively impact the poorest of countries.

As Neil Bird of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Blog tells, us we still have long way to go on climate change: seven issues to consider from the World Development Report 2010.

Everyone talks about reaching a global deal over a successor to the Kyoto Agreement at Copenhagen, but as the World Bank’s new World Development Report comprehensively outlines there is a long way to go to secure an adequate response to tackling climate change.
The video makes a very important point in it's opening and that is that the World Development Report focuses on the impact of climate change on the developing world's struggle to rise out of poverty.

Our interest in climate changes starts and ends in many ways with our interest in development.

Marianne Fay - Co-director of World Development Report and
Chief Economist, Sustainable Development Network

Related Posts:

Upgrading Foreign Aid ONE important step in reaching the Millennium Development Goals

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The folks at ONE are reminding us that the law governing U.S. foreign aid policy was written in 1961, when Kennedy was president, roughly half of Africa was still under colonial rule, and the Beatles were just a bar band in Liverpool. I am basically just passing on what they said plus, as usual, adding a few links to provide more information.

So they want us all to take opportunity to bring our foreign assistance into the 21st century, so its is, as they say, better reflecting American ingenuity, generosity and values and more effectively fighting global poverty.

The idea is to call your senator(s) and tell them to "upgrade aid" now by cosponsoring the bipartisan Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009 (S. 1524):

Mine in California are:

  • Senator Dianne Feinstein
    Phone: (888) 441-3347
  • Senator Barbara Boxer
    Phone: (888) 441-3346

You can find instructions and talking points and report your call here:

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to discuss this bill next Tuesday, September 22. To get S. 1524 moved on to the full Senate, we need to show support now for making U.S. aid programs better and smarter. Call your senator(s) today:

Introduced by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), S. 1524 strengthens our ability to identify which aid programs work and which don't. It empowers USAID—the U.S. agency responsible for international development—to improve staff expertise and strategic planning; increase transparency and accountability; coordinate U.S. development programs; and align those programs with what's important to beneficiaries on the ground.

The connection with the Millennium Development Goals should be obvious. If the United States is not taking a leadership position on this issue both financially and morally, it is not likely that we will make any real progress. As ONE states:

U.S. foreign assistance has saved millions of lives, and thanks to your support for results-focused initiatives such as PEPFAR, the Global Fund and the Millennium Challenge Account, many of our investments are making a difference. But the way much of our aid is organized and delivered leaves room for an upgrade.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tell the G20 - Go to Africa

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The current economic crisis has dealt a hard blow against the already lackluster efforts to implement the MDGs. We have already dealt with the fact that the Financial Industry Receives 10 Times More Money in 1 year than Poor Countries Receive in 49 Years. It doesn't look any better in the future. A Reuter's story by Laura MacInnis back on July looked at the dialogue between the G8 and the World Bank and determined that 2009 will remain dangerous a year.

The Group of Eight nations should not presume a global economic recovery is near, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said in a letter to G8 host Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi obtained by Reuters on Monday.
In his letter, Zoellick stressed the July 8-10 summit should also "focus on the plight of the poor in the developing world."
In the year to June 30, the World Bank committed $60 billion in aid to developing nations, much of it for infrastructure projects. Zoellick said wealthy nations should not hold back on further aid commitments in spite of the economic uncertainty.

There has been some signs that things may be staying the same. G-20 Ministers Back Stimulus, but Pay Limits Are Elusive BUSINESS / GLOBAL BUSINESS | September 06, 2009 By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ and JULIA WERDIGIER

The world's financial ministers vowed to keep their multi-trillion-dollar stimulus efforts in place, but at a meeting failed to agree on any firm limits on bankers' bonuses.

Britain’s chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, said members of the G-20 “have to make sure that we finish the job we started.” He added: “There is still a lot of risk, a lot of uncertainty and a lot of obstacles to negotiate.”

So what kind of statement can be made to influence how the world's economic leaders look at the plight and potential of developing countries?

Well the folks from ONE have an idea. When the world's Presidents and Prime Ministers fly to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 24 for the G20 Summit (the latest in a series of high-level talks on the global economy, covering everything from international trade to the rules governing financial markets), ask that the G20 to host an upcoming summit in Africa and put that continent's potential on the political map.

ONE argue that if an African country is picked next to host an upcoming G20 summit, it would bring new attention to the role Africa can and must play in any successful global economic recovery. This blog has no problem supporting that idea having long featured TED Talks Africa, The Next Chapter which proves the point.

Click the link to add your name to our petition

The petition reads:

Dear G20 Leaders,

Please hold an upcoming G20 Summit in Africa, and see for yourselves how its one billion people can be part of the global economic recovery.

David Lane of ONE tells us that,

The Africa I've seen is ready to join the global marketplace and help drive economic growth. And its agricultural resources, if fully developed, could feed the world. In a recent visit to Ethiopia—where malaria deaths have been halved in only two years—I visited the new Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX), a first of its kind electronic, international exchange for coffee, grain and other agricultural products. The ECX is entrepreneurialism at its best, helping farmers and traders get fair prices for their goods.

This kind of success is being repeated across Africa. Through smart aid and African-led innovation, poverty and disease are giving way to trade and opportunity. Now, we need the leaders of the G20 nations to go to Africa and see it for themselves.

Tell the G20 that one of their upcoming meetings must be in Africa:

Here is Economist Eleni Gabre-Madhin in a 2007 TEDTalk outlining the ambitious vision that became the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX).

Subject: Tom Boone of Ashoka commented on Take a Stand Against Poverty by Investing in Women to Save the World

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I recently received a comment from Tom Boone of Ashoka.Org on my recent post Take a Stand Against Poverty by Investing in Women to Save the World.

Ashoka has been featured in this blog under Social Entrepreneur Sites What's a social entrepreneur BY Ashoka,but the truth is that I have not done much with that section.

Anyway, his comment had a good deal of information and insight regarding "HALF THE SKY" and I am sharing it below with some added links and a couple of videos regarding the women he highlights in his remarks.

I was able to read most of an advance copy of this book before Bill Drayton (founder of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public) snatched it away and ran off with it on his annual 2-week hiking trip to the mountains.

I think this has to be the most important book - not just for women's rights globally but for human rights - published in my memory. Kristof and WuDunn weave together a most compelling story of how culture and customs historically suppress women. They tackle many tough, taboo topics - for example honor killing. But more importantly, they champion the stories of heroic women worldwide wholly committed to changing the many evils of the status quo.

What is more, they posit a kind of general framework theory that the really important advances in human rights that are going to be made in the near future are going to be brought about by these entrepreneurial pioneering women. In essence, that the backbone of the human rights movement and of real change across all societies is going to be a direct function of brave women who give themselves permission to say "NO" to thousands of years of (to most Westerners) unimaginable oppressive cultural customs and who take it upon themselves to lead to a new way. Once you have read the book, it is very hard, if not impossible, to disagree with Kristof and WuDunn's general theme. To wit, the brave women of Iran who took to the streets to protest the results of the recent election.

Among many other "super" women, HALF THE SKY spotlights the following inspirational Ashoka Fellows:

Sunitha Krishnan (India), founder of Prajwala, a citizen sector organization in Hyderabad, India, fighting forced prostitution and sex trafficking, rescuing women and children from sexual exploitation, incestual rape, sexual torture, and abuse in prostitution. Her organization helps former prostitutes learn vocational skills so they can move into new careers. "Prajwala" means "an eternal flame".

Sakena Yacoobi (Afghanistan), founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning, a citizen sector organization providing teacher training to Afghan women, educating and fostering education for girls and boys, and providing health education to women and children. Her organization also runs fixed and mobile health clinics that provide family planning services. Sakena holds the distinction of having been Ashoka's first Afghan Fellow. Educating women and girls was banned under the Taliban and is controversial under Islamic law.

Roshaneh Zafar (Pakistan), founder of Pakistani microfinance lender, Kashf. A former World Bank employee, she was inspired after a chance meeting with Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank. "Kashf" means "miracle" and Kashf is indeed fostering a miracle by leveraging microfinance to women to transform the role of women in Pakistani society and bringing about a poverty-free world. To date, Kashf supports 305,038 families in Pakistan, has disbursed $202 million, and has 52 branches nationwide.

I am not alone in my enthusiasm for this book! Last Tuesday, September 15, 2009, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ("UNODC") hosted a panel discussion and book signing with Mr. Kristof and Ms. WuDunn in the UN Trusteeship Council Chamber at UN Headquarters. All 550 seats in the Trusteeship Council Chamber were filled. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivered opening remarks. Special recognition goes to Simone Monasebian and Anna Rosario Kennedy of the UNODC for putting together this behemoth of an event.

Five out of five stars. An absolute must read for anyone who cares about women's rights or human rights. A genuine eye popper that moves so fast, tackles so much that has hitherto been taboo and unmovable, and interweaves the unbelievably positive stories of the very heroic women already leading and creating change in a tapestry that is glimpse of a brave and very different, humanitarian new world.

Once you pick this book up, you will not be able to put it down. And once you have read it, you will be moved to help bring about tomorrow. Absolute proof that the glass (or the sky) is half full. We just have to give ourselves permission to make change. Or as Gandhi said, "we must be the change we wish to see."

Tom Boone, Ashoka

Site/Blog URL:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Two Pathways For Having Your Say on Climate Control

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Two different pathways for getting involved with influencing the United Nations led conference on Climate Control. The first for the more extroverted and the second for the less so. This were dealt with before at the Taking Global Action to protect the environment sooner better than later post.

A staggering Avaaz announces 1000 events in 88 countries for next Monday's great global climate wake up call!

Check out this incredible list and map of over 1500 events for the great global climate wake-up call on Monday. Brazil has 153 events, France 95, New Zealand 26 --

Let's make sure leaders at the UN climate summit wake up on Tuesday morning to news that 1559 rallies, marches, meetings and "flashmobs" across the planet have flooded the airwaves and their phone lines with an irresistible call for action...

The press is reporting that urgent negotiations on a global deal to stop a climate catastrophe are in shambles - our leaders just aren't making the hard choices needed -- they're feeling more pressure from oil and coal companies than they are from ordinary people concerned about reversing the climate crisis and unleashing a new green economy. Sept. 21st is the moment to change all that.

Not all events are the same -- many Wake-Up Call events are thrilling in their variety -- monks will chant prayers, churches will ring bells, some will show the new cool climate film "Age of Stupid". Click to find an event nearby, RSVP, and tell friends about it:

Images and videos from the Global Wake-Up Call events will be combined and shown in 700 satellite-linked cinemas at the Age of Stupid's global premiere!

Here is the second pathway

UN Foundation
You've heard about the drastic global effects of climate change -- severe heat waves, intense droughts, and rising sea levels. Many of us picture these impacts happening in far-off lands in arid deserts or on polar ice caps. But climate change hits closer to home than that: your home.

In our last e-mail
, you read about how our world leaders will address climate change on a high level at Copenhagen. But now is our time to act -- when more than six billion of us can tell our leaders how climate change will forever alter our everyday lives.

Tell us what you'll miss most if we don't act soon. Visit the "It's Getting Personal" Climate Board, and share your quotes, videos, and pictures describing what's about to disappear from your life due to climate change.

It can be a person, place, or thing … written, taped, or photographed … whatever best captures the impact of climate change on YOU.

It's getting personal. Submit your story to the Climate Board and make your voice heard!

Together, we can bring this issue to the forefront. Thank you!


The UN Foundation Climate and Energy Team
(Reid, Ryan, Jana, Kurt, and John)

P.S. Want to learn more about climate change? You can browse our site and check out the climate glossary for more info.

Take action to save what you love!

Working Towards Zero Welcome to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF

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I recently received a welcome to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF from Marcus Samuelsson (Celebrity Ambassador U.S. Fund for UNICEF) telling me that I have joined the ranks of countless people around the world who believe in a better future who are together making a difference in the lives of millions of kids. I remember carrying the UNICEF donation boxes around at Halloween during my youth, but I have not seen it for a long time. Below are some facts and figures on what UNICEF is doing today, as well as ways to get involved. UNICEF was working on Millennium Development Goals long before there were any Millennium Development Goals and has always spoken up for those with the smallest of voices - children. They also provide the proof that these types of programs do make a difference.

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. It is, by any standard, an immense accomplishment.

Because of UNICEF the number of children dying each day has significantly dropped to 24,000. That's 1,500 more children waking up, playing with friends, making their mothers laugh, and dreaming of the exciting things they'll do when they grow up.

From measles campaigns in Pakistan to emergency therapeutic food in Ethiopia; from tetanus vaccination in Indonesia to well drilling in Sudan; from hurricane relief in Haiti to anti-malarial bed net distribution in NigeriaUNICEF's work is having a huge impact.

How to get involved?

Make a donation. Send two lifesaving bed nets today.

Welcome to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Donate bed nets

Welcome to UNICEF USA Fieldnotes: The UNICEF USA Blog

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Take a Stand Against Poverty by Investing in Women to Save the World

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This year's actions taking a stand against poverty are also focusing on women's issues. According to the Stand Up and Take Action event on 16 taking place through 18 October 2009.

This year, Stand Up will once again provide an energetic, high impact platform for people to raise the profile of MDG- related issues relevant to their region, country or community. However, this year Stand Up will begin on October 16th, World Food Day, and on this one day the focus on food security and on hunger will be greater. As always, the policy demands will be determined at the national and local levels by participants. But in recognition of the fact that many of the MDGs directly linked to the status of women are not doing well, campaigners are encouraged to give this year’s Stand Up a clear focus on holding governments accountable for improving the status of women and their rights.

In honor of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 17, CARE is encouraging us to stand in solidarity with poor and marginalized women around the world.

Two steps, first:


In July, a large bipartisan group of senators introduced the GROWTH (Global Resources and Opportunities for Women to Thrive) Act; if passed, it will revolutionize the way U.S. foreign aid is directed.

The GROWTH Act promotes the economic empowerment of women and proposes concrete steps that the United States can take to play a positive role in improving the lives of the world's poorest women and their families. In short, this bill will create a chance to lift up the 1 billion people in the world who live on less than a $1.25 a day.

Please join by sending a personalized messageto your own senators.

Step two, learn more by reading:

Half The Sky

"Half the Sky" shares poignant tales of women's struggles and triumphs in the face of poverty and discrimination. Through the compelling stories, the authors brilliantly illustrate the connections between women's empowerment and social and economic progress.

The work of Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn has been featured in the New York Times.

Investing in women to save the world

Half the work force of many developing nations is marginalized because of their gender, write Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Yet microfinance lenders and other nonprofits are hoping to change that by focusing their efforts on women, helping them start businesses and receive education that can transform their whole communities. The New York Times, (8/17)

Start a conversation with your book club, women's group, alumni chapter or family and friends about the challenges and opportunities women and girls face, or particpate in a blogging action with BloggersUnite with STAND UP and TAKE ACTION against Poverty and The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and take action together with CARE!

Get Involved

Get Involved

Friday, September 11, 2009

Taking Global Action to protect the environment sooner better than later

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I was late with getting the post out on the climate bill in my own state and I don't want to do that again. I have written about this before at the post Taking Global Actions to Protect the Global Climate, but there are actions coming up far sooner than the Copenhagen summit in December. Two days in particular, 21 September 2009 and 24 October 2009. These actions are from both the institutional and grassroots levels, both educational and activist. As usual, I am re-blogging, highlighting relevant points and providing a few more links.

UN Foundation

The The UN Foundation Climate and Energy Team (Reid, Ryan, Jana, Kurt, and John) reminds us that Copenhagen will host pivotal UN-led negotiations toward a new international agreement to combat climate change.

The goal: to build a comprehensive framework to reduce emissions, hold all countries -- developed and developing -- to higher standards, and match the speed and scale of global response to the rapidly worsening climate change.

World leaders have their work cut out for them. But what they decide and how quickly they take action will have a profound effect on all of us.

The first step is to get educated on the issue. You can read more about the road to Copenhagen at our Web site, and see how climate frameworks have progressed over the past 20 years. And check out this glossary of common terms we'll be using as the campaign continues.

The problem is that a recent story 'Comprenhensive' climate treaty ruled out for Copenhagen that I found in the China Daily asserts:

The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Yvo De Boer ruled out the possibility that a “comprehensive” international climate treaty will be ratified at Copenhagen in December.

De Boer, speaking at a press conference during the ongoing Summer Davos in Dalian, Northeast China said it is "impossible to craft and draft" a detailed climate treaty in "the time that remains" to address climate change.

"That is not possible. But it is also not necessary," he said, "I think what Copenhagen has to achieve is a basic political understanding" on the essential issues of climate change.

I have not, as of yet, seen the story anywhere else yet, but it gives all the more justification for the grassroots actions initiated by Avaaz. More than 100,000, Avaaz members (over 96%), took part worldwide and voted to organise a massive global wake-up call on climate change on September 21,

Many will be registering a climate wake-up call event to take place in your local area on the 21st. The goal is to organise thousands of wake-up events (or "flashmobs") in public places all over the world -- showing a massive public demand for our lagging leaders to sign a fair and binding deal to stop climate catastrophe and unleash a new green economy this year. These events around the world will then be compiled into a powerful package and delivered to world leaders and the media at the UN climate summit the next day!

Click here to register a climate wake-up event in your area

"flashmobs" -- fun, peaceful demonstrations in which participants assemble suddenly in a public place, blending in with the crowd, perform an unusual action simultaneously for a few minutes, and then quickly disperse.

The Global Wake-Up Call is a joint effort of the TckTckTck Campaign, named for the "tck"ing of a clock as time runs short. Through TckTckTck, Avaaz is working closely with groups like, Oxfam, and Greenpeace; with the producers of the film The Age of Stupid (which will showcase the Wake-Up Call at their global premiere!), and with mayors, houses of worship, and famous entertainers to raise a cry that will be heard around the world.

It's an extraordinary moment for the global climate movement -- and just in time, on the eve of this year's final meetings of heads of government at the UN and G20 summits. The stakes are vast. The climate crisis isn't waiting, and neither can we.

It's also an extraordinary moment for Avaaz: the first time we've come together, massively and everywhere on earth, to move our online network into an offline community in action. If our leaders don't respond this time, we'll keep coming back -- bigger and bigger, bolder and bolder -- until they do. We all share a commitment to a better world. Now is our time to be heard.

Related Posts:

Telling the CA senate: pass the climate bill Don't Let Big Polluters Outsource Air Quality

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Both the NPCA National Parks Conservation Association and UCS Union of Concerned Scientists have taken a stand supporting AB 1404. The focus of this bill is California, but global warming knows no boundaries. This is basically a re-blog of information that I received from both organizations. Unfortunately, while I did participate in both, I may be too late in doing any good with this blog. Still, it is good to know where the lines are being drawn and this struggle is far from over.

AB 1404 (De Leon - D) Limits the ability of building owners and developers to engage in market-based programs to reduce greenhouse gasses. Requires the ARB to limit the use of certain compliance offsets to a certain percentage of the greenhouse gas emission reductions.

The NPCA is urging California's lawmakers to do their part by passing AB 1404. This is a bill that will limit the use of carbon offsets that large polluters could use to comply with California's climate change policies to just 10%. As the policy is now, big polluters could pay for unverifiable overseas projects for up to 49% of their compliance obligations, rather than reducing pollution at home here in California. Passage of AB 1404 means that the air quality benefits associated with reducing greenhouse gas emissions stay in California and improve the air quality in our national parks.

Let's Clear the Air in California's National Parks on behalf of NPCA and Take Action: Industry lobbyists have AB 1404 at the top of their "kill" list. They want to defeat this bill because it limits the use of "offsets" as credits that allow big polluters to avoid reducing their own emissions by paying for emission reductions elsewhere. Write your State Senator today and ask them to support this critical legislation.. You can keep up with what the NPCA are doing at .

The UCS tells us that Industry lobbyists have AB 1404 at the top of their "kill" list because it limits the use of "offsets"—credits that allow big polluters to avoid reducing their own emissions by paying for emission reductions elsewhere.

Your state senator will be voting on this bill in the next few days. Please write today and urge your senator to support AB 1404.

Take Action Now

Contact your state senator today

Dear Senator,

I am writing to urge you to support AB 1404, which will help create jobs and boost California's thriving clean technology industries by limiting the use of "offsets" for compliance with California's global warming regulations.

AB 1404 is a balanced approach to the issue of global warming offsets that. The bill allows some offsets to be used, but sets parameters on the amount and type to limit polluters outsourcing their investment in climate solutions. An over-reliance on offsets would not only cost the state desperately needed local jobs and air quality benefits, but would also make reaching our state's long-term global warming goals more expensive. That's why more than 90 public health, labor, business, environmental, religious, and social justice groups have endorsed AB 1404.

Please vote for AB 1404 to ensure that California receives the most clean air benefits and new, local jobs possible under our global warming policies.

Write today to urge your state senator to close the loophole in California's Global Warming Solutions Plan

Please pass this alert along to your friends and family
Take Action Now

Monday, September 7, 2009

Check out "2009 Stand Up Take Action is next month" on United Actions Global Network

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I am still trying to get the word out about the Stand Up Take Action Against Poverty Event on October 16th, 2009 through various online communities. One of the online communities that I have become involved with through my FaceBook page is the Ning Social Group

Brian Dowling
Check out '2009 Stand Up Take Action is next month'
2009 Stand Up Take Action is next month

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Here is an invite to both the group and the event.

Brian Dowling has invited you to the event 'Stand Up Take Action Against Poverty' on United Actions Global Network!
Check out "Stand Up Take Action Against Poverty" on United Actions Global Network

Brian Dowling

Stand Up Take Action Against Poverty Time: October 16, 2009 at 6pm to October 18, 2009 at 7pm
Location: World Wide
Organized By: United Nations Millennium Campaign

Event Description:
This year on October 16, 17 and 18 help break the record yet again and send a LOUDER message than ever - Achieve the Millennium Developments Goals by 2015.

See more details and RSVP on United Actions Global Network:
About United Actions Global Network
Connect to United Actions Global Network and shape our world for our generation and for the generations to come.
United Actions Global Network 271 members
105 photos
76 songs
27 videos
10 discussions
60 blog posts

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Upcoming Stand Up Events

Here is more on what is happening around the world re-blogged from an United Nations Millennium Campaign email.

With less than 40 days left until "Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now" in 2009, the excitement and energy behind this global anti-poverty movement is building rapidly. From Uganda to Canada and Poland to Nepal, people all over the world are sharing their stories and creativity with us, telling us about the incredible events that they have planned for "Stand Up" this year.

World leaders will hear the "Stand Up" pledge echoing from the highest point in the world when anti-poverty campaigners climb to the top of Mount Everest. Some incredible people in Nepal are planning this high-profile mobilization. In neighboring India, there are plans to host a creative writing competition around "Stand Up" for young people in Patna. A short boat ride across the Indian Ocean in Uganda, there are plans to host 5,000 students at a public debate about the MDGs -- along with a music concert with gospel singers and prominent speakers at an event for over 15,000 people. Continents away in Edmonton, Canada, a very enthusiastic group of college students are coordinating a campus-wide initiative wrapping hundreds of trees in white 'Make Poverty History' bands and with their University President delivering the "Stand Up" pledge. A member of the Canadian parliament will speak at the event on behalf of the Canadian Government. Down south in sunny California, 1,200 people are ready to parade onto a soccer field where they intend to form a large peace sign with their bodies prior to 'Standing Up'. This will be followed by a number of youngsters staging a Kite Fair (based on the book The Kite Runner) to raise funds for impoverished students in Afghanistan and in support of women entrepreneurs in Guatemala. In Europe, an MDG lecture series at colleges will lead up to two prominent Polish musicians taking the stage in Warsaw to anchor a large "Stand Up" event.

Stand Up events and actions are coming to us from all over the world in all shapes, colors and sizes. Share your ideas and plans with us. Let us know how you are doing your part to call out to politicians and ask them to bring an end to extreme poverty. Find out more on

Update on UN Millennium Campaign Newsletter - STAND UP special

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I am reblogging some of the latest information from the United Nations Millennium Campaign.

Last year, more than 116 million people - nearly two percent of the people on earth - participated in "Stand Up and Take Action" at events around the globe to demand that world leaders keep their promises to end poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The MDGs are a set of 8 goals to eradicate extreme poverty and its root causes that 189 world leaders pledged to achieve in the year 2000.

After breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest mobilization of human beings in recorded history last year, we plan to make "Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now" bigger and better than ever before this year. Nearly 2% of the world's population stood with us in 2008, and with your continued help and support we can grow that figure.

Today we are launching a brand new and very exciting "Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now" song and video.

You can stream them instantly or download them to your computer.

What is even more exciting is that this year we are launching a unique online component to "Stand Up" where by taking a specific e-action you can be a part of the "Stand Up" world record.

We encourage you to check out the song and video, share it with your friends via our new Facebook page and follow us on all your favorite social media sites.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Taking Global Actions to Protect the Global Climate

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Besides the Stand Up Take Action Against Poverty event in October, the next important event that this blog will be tracking is the World Climate Forum in Copenhagen in December of this year. Here are two pathways to learn from and help with this important goal below.

Millennium Development Goal 7. Environmental Sustainability is necessary to the long term viability of Millennium Goal 1. End Hunger as it will be developing countries that will suffer the worst impact on food producing industries.

Over 100,000 participants from 182 countries voted in the Avaaz global poll - 96% of people said, YES, let's go all out on climate this month and commit to a "global wake-up call" to world leaders on September 21st by donating $25.00 or whatever you can afford.

The goal of our wake-up call is a big one: to convince the world's leaders to meet at the final climate talks in Copenhagen this December and sign an ambitious, fair and binding treaty to stop catastrophic climate change.

Talks on the treaty have been building for years. Now, less than 100 days from Copenhagen, we're nearing a tipping point -- and a huge global roar could make the difference.

If we take this on, we won't be alone. Avaaz has been working closely with a new, massive coalition of global civil society groups, from Oxfam to WWF to Greenpeace, to multiply the world's voices for climate action. The joint campaign's name is Tck Tck Tck -- the sound of a ticking clock, as time runs short. Every group involved shares the vision of success in Copenhagen, and we can't succeed without everyone. The question is -- should Avaaz make this climate wake-up call its #1 priority through September 21?

From the United Nations Foundation on Climate Change and Copenhagen:

UN Foundation

Dear Brian,

Climate ImpactDisappearing land. Displaced communities. The end of indigenous cultures. These aren't consequences of war -- they're the disastrous effects of climate change.

For years we've associated climate change with polar bears and rising sea levels -- things that few of us come in contact with. But the truth is that climate change is just as much about people -- our decisions, our homes, our lives. Unless we act with urgency to reduce global warming, it is our lives and the things we enjoy that will be changing.

The UN is already hard at work to address this crisis. Since 2007, world leaders have been working on a comprehensive global agreement to combat climate change, with talks set to culminate this December in Copenhagen, Denmark.

But for change to really take root, we need people to help people. You have the power to pull together and influence the future of climate change, while we can connect you and your ideas to the global UN family.

Leading this campaign is UN Foundation president Timothy E. Wirth, formerly a U.S. Senator and Undersecretary of State. Senator Wirth has helped shape climate change policy for over 20 years, from chairing the historic Hansen hearings that first brought the dangers of climate change to a broad audience, to today's efforts to adopt meaningful climate action both in the U.S. and internationally.

So we have world governments, policy-makers, and environmental groups involved -- the only piece missing is you. Will you join us and help take action against climate change?

We'll be sending out information soon about Copenhagen and your stake in it, plus details about what you can do to pitch in. So look to your inbox for more on the most important part of the climate change discussion -- people.

With best wishes,

Reid Detchon

Reid Detchon
Vice President, Energy and Climate Program

UN Foundation
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