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

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It's World Malaria Day -- Proof that the Millennium Development Goals are Achieveable

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Today is World Malaria Day. Malaria is one of the targets of Millennium Development Goal No. 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

The UN Wire reports that World Malaria Day brings us one step closer to our goal

This weekend, thousands of people around the world are showing their commitment to ending malaria deaths by 2015 by Sleeping Out, sending nets, throwing fundraisers, and spreading the buzz about malaria prevention. Sunday, April 25, is World Malaria Day – and just in time for this annual day of recognition for the cause, the World Bank has made an astounding commitment of their own : they are pledging $200 million to provide people in sub Saharan Africa with bed nets. This announcement comes just days…

Emily L. from Care2 Health Policy reminds us to Do Our Part to Commemorate World Malaria Day

December 31, 2010 was the target date UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon set in place for delivering effective mosquito nets to all regions affected by malaria (his words: "universal coverage"). This is an incredibly lofty goal, but that's what makes it so wonderful. We are making real progress toward the eradication of malaria, and moving rapidly toward the Millennium Development Goals.
Of all the Millennium Development Goals, this one seems to have the most focus by the main stream media and the people it follows.

Stars, social media unite for malaria effort
Celebrities are lining up to support an online campaign to urge people to buy insecticide-treated bed nets to help prevent the spread of malaria in Africa. Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and actor Ashton Kutcher will seek to leverage their followings on the social-media site Twitter to drive the campaign.
The UN aims to reduce the deaths from malaria to near zero in Africa by 2015. So far, more than $4 billion has been raised to fight the disease, mostly from the World Bank, government agencies and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The UN expects to cover 800 million people at risk of malaria with bednets, but it is still short of funding for roughly 50 million of those nets, Chambers said.

There is true significant progress being made, this does not mean that we can rest on our laurels though.

Africa's malaria battle progressing, more help promised

Malaria infections are dropping across Africa in response to the World Health Organization's Roll Back Malaria program, according to Rob Newman, director of the WHO's Global Malaria Programme. U.S. officials announced plans to focus part of that country's Global Health Initiative on reaching 450 million women and children in sub-Saharan Africa with the aim of halving malaria rates among the group.


Reuters (4/22) U.S. effort to fight malaria focuses on women

Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor WASHINGTON Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:08pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government announced on Thursday it would focus part of its $63 billion, six-year Global Health Initiative plan to accelerate efforts to fight malaria, mostly in Africa and aimed at women and children


AlertNet.org/Reuters (4/22)


INTERVIEW-Africa making "dramatic" headway against malaria
22 Apr 2010 15:36:33 GMT Source: Reuters * Africa making "dramatic" anti-malaria progress * Killer disease's economic burden likely to ease By Ed Cropley


Infection rates in Zambia, for instance, more than halved from 2001 to 2008 due to widespread distribution of mosquito nets, targeted spraying of insecticides and better and cheaper diagnosis and treatment, said Rob Newman, director of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Global Malaria Programme.


The progress made in the struggle to eradicate malaria has been on many fronts. Government organizations through the United Nations and in developed industrial countries, non-government organizations such as the World Bank and World Health Organization, philanthropic organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The most important factor to my mind was capturing the imagination of the public that this was a terrible challenge that ruined the lives of millions, but that it was a challenge that could be successfully met. We need to do as good as a job as that with the other 7 Millennium Development Goals this September at the UN Millennium Summit.


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Monday, April 19, 2010

Good News on Climategate and the Clean Air Act

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April 22nd is Earth Day and Bloggers Unite has an event I am participating in so I was looking for some good news on environmental issues over the week to blog about. I found some at both the global level and at the local level. This tells me that if we keep moving forward in support of environmental issues that we can make strides in achieving Millennium Goal No. 7. Environmental Sustainability. I also wrote another post on efforts by the Environmental Defense Fund in support of the day.

Both Henry Chu of the Los Angeles Times and the Economist provided articles stating, scientists in "climategate" did not fudge the data, a report finds.

Panel clears researchers in 'Climategate' controversy
The experts find 'no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice' by the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, which had been accused of misrepresenting global warming data. >>

A place in the sun

Apr 14th 2010 | From The Economist print edition

The inquiry panel looked at 11 CRU publications from the past 20 years, spent days talking to the researchers and looking at other documentation, and concluded that if there was any malpractice at CRU they would have detected it. They found no such thing. Instead they found "dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers ill-prepared for public attention".

At my local level, my United States Senator Barbara Boxer recently wrote me because of writing to her before in support of safeguarding the Clean Air Act and legislative efforts to combat climate change. Defending the Clean Air Act on the Web and in Congress

I also learned that she does not support efforts from industrial state Democratic Senators to pre-empt state and local laws that regulate carbon emissions.

I am pleased to inform you that on April 1, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation announced new national fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars. These new standards are an historic step forward, and I applaud the Obama Administration for making reductions of harmful GHG emissions a priority.

The new standards apply to new passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles, for model years 2012 through 2016. By 2016, new vehicles would have to meet an estimated combined average emissions level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per mile and 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg), a significant improvement over the current national fuel efficiency standard.

The new federal standards, which are based on the clean car standards pioneered by California, will save consumers money at the gas pump due to higher fuel efficiency while reducing our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. EPA projects that over the lifetime of 2012-2016 model year vehicles, the new rules would reduce U.S. GHG emissions by 960 million metric tons and save 1.8 billion barrels of oil.


As Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I have worked hard on our fight against carbon pollution. Be assured, I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress and the Obama Administration to move meaningful legislation forward to create clean energy jobs, reduce carbon pollution, and reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.


Thank you for your past correspondence on this matter. Please feel free to write to me in the future about this or any other issue of concern to you.

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Pledging Support for the Earth From EDF at the Local and National Levels

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Earth Day is April 22 this year and Bloggers Unite has an event to promote it.

"The earth is in greater peril than ever, but there is also unprecedented opportunity to build a new future. Earth Day has the power to bring about historic advances in climate policy, renewable energy and green jobs and catalyze millions who make personal commitments to sustainability - “A Billion Acts of Green” – mobilizing the power of people to create change by taking small steps in our homes, our schools and our businesses that add up to an enormous collective action." www.earthday.net/earthday2010

The Millennium Development Goal No. 7. Environmental Sustainability is to my mind the most global approach to climate change but it will be local efforts, all combining into national efforts that will make the difference cumulatively at the global level . One organization working hard for environmental sustainability for the whole earth is the Environmental Defense Fund, but especially here in the U.S.A.

The Environmental Defense Action Fund is working at the national level on an all-out campaign over the next 10 weeks to win passage of the strongest possible climate and energy bill in the Senate through their Operation: Climate Vote campaign.

This is the most critical moment we've ever faced in our effort to cap America's global warming pollution and unleash our clean energy future. It is not an exaggeration to say that the future of our planet hangs in the balance.
In the coming days and weeks, we will be focusing like never before on getting the Senate to act. And we continue to face stiff opposition from big polluters and other special interests, who are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to block action.

The math is daunting: there are only 10 working weeks left in the 111th Congress before the July 4th recess.

You can connect with them on now Facebook, and help use the power of our social networks to get the word out.

The Environmental Defense Fund is also working at my local level with the LA Apollo Alliance.

Nearly a year ago, EDF teamed with the LA Apollo Alliance to help pass the Green Retrofit and Workforce Development Ordinance that lays out a model and principles for investing in both local energy efficiency projects AND quality green jobs.
In December, the city earmarked $32 million in federal recovery dollars for this project, but implementation has stalled.The City Council took a positive step last month by approving the Renewable Energy Trust Fund, which guarantees city funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects needed to spark the creation of thousands of green jobs.
They needed to collect at least 1,200 signatures by April 16th to keep things moving forward. Here is to hoping that they made it.



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Saturday, April 3, 2010

UN Secretary-General saying MDGs must be met but a lack of political will keep Millennium Promises unfulfilled, calls for MDG Summit

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We are now two-thirds the way to 2015, the supposed finish line to achieving the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign, but our progress has been sorely lacking in many ways.

According to the United Nations Non-governmental Liaison Service and other sources, 2010 will be a critical year in determining which development pathways our world will pursue. In 2000, UN Member States agreed to the Millennium Declaration and committed themselves to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

On 20-22 September 2010, the General Assembly will hold, in New York, a High-level Plenary Meeting, also referred to as the ‘MDG Summit’. The Summit’s main focus will be to build on what we have learned during the past 10 years since the adoption of the Millennium Declaration and how to accelerate progress towards the internationally agreed development goals, in particular MDGs. The Summit will take stock of the successes, best practices, lessons learned, obstacles and gaps related to the MDGs and other development goals.

Millennium Development Goals must be met, UN Secretary-General says

Read the Secretary-General's report, " Keeping the Promise", (and in his remarks calling for the adoption of a global action agenda for accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which serves as the basis for Member States' deliberations on an action-oriented outcome document for the Summit. It identifies successes and gaps, and lays out an agenda for 2010-2015. "Our world possesses the knowledge and resources to achieve the MDGs," Mr. Ban says in the report. Falling short of the Goals "would be an unacceptable failure, moral and practical."

The problem according to Secretary-General Ban has been a lack of political will:

Political Will the Missing Link for MDGs - IPS ipsnews.net:DEVELOPMENT
Ban addressed U.N. member states and media following the release of his report, "Keeping the Promise", on Mar. 16. The report "reviews successes, identifies obstacles, and suggests ways to accelerate progress," according to the secretary-general.

At a meeting of the General Assembly, he warned that, "We are off course because of unmet commitments, inadequate resources and a lack of focus and accountability."

"We do not need new pledges," Ban said later that day at a media briefing. "If nations deliver on the financial commitments they have already made, we can achieve the goals. There is clearly a lack of political will."
As a part of the process leading to the summit, the General Assembly will also convene ‘Hearings’ with representatives of civil society and the private sector from 14-15 June. The outcomes of these hearings will provide an input to the preparatory process for the Summit and be issued as an Assembly document.

A nomination process for speakers at the hearings has now been opened so that interested individuals can apply to actively participate at the event. The application deadline is 16 April 2010 for the June meeting. Click here for more information on the Hearings and the speaker selection process.



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Friday, April 2, 2010

Urgent Message To [Insert Your Senator's Name Here] on U.S. International Affairs Budget

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It has been about 3 weeks since I have had a chance to get back to this blog, but luckily this request from ONE only came a couple of days ago.

Tom Hart, Government Relations Director of ONE says that Between now and 2015, we can eliminate malaria as a major public health problem in the world, ensure no child is born with HIV, and prevent more than 4.2 million future child deaths through vaccination.

We can do this through smart investments in global health, with a particular focus on women and young children. But we can't do it without a strong U.S. International Affairs Budget.

I signed the petition asking Senator Barbara Boxer

Please sign the bipartisan budget letter supporting a $58.5 billion International Affairs Budget.

I said:

I hope you support this effort being recommended both by ONE and the US Global Leadership Coalition. There are few things we can do that both help the less fortunate in the world and help our national security.

The deadline of April 9, for senators to sign the letter is coming up fast.


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