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, June 27, 2010

Getting Ready for the MDG Summit

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The main focus of this blog these days has been on attempting to organize a "local" effort, for the truly global effort of the 2010 UN Millennium Campaign whose byline is "This is our year. Let's make it happen."

There seem to be two legs to this effort. One to raise support through the Stand Up Take Action Campaign and the other to address issues through the UN Millennium Campaign. This blog is interested in both efforts

Their main focus is now on the upcoming 'MDG Summit on 20-22 September 2010 in New York' (High-level Plenary Meeting).

The UN General Assembly has decided to convene a 'MDG summit' this September, with the objective to accelerate progress towards all the MDGs by 2015. The summit will review successes, lessons learned, obstacles and gaps, challenges and opportunities, “leading to concrete strategies for action”. [more]

The primary means of doing this is keeping interested civil society stakeholders informed on the latest developments related to the MDG summit process.These are the professionals, people who have made this their life work. You can visit the dedicated website.

Links to U.N. Hearings are provided at this blog's related wiki as information on the themes and participants and respondents taking part in the hearings.As part of the preparatory process for the ‘MDG summit’, the UN General Assembly requested and the President H.E. Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki convened informal interactive hearings with NGOs, Civil Society and the Private Sector. To assist him in preparing the meeting, the GA President formed a ‘Task Force’ of representatives of civil society and the private sector to advise him on the format and participation at the Hearings. The President of the General Assembly, in close consultation with the Task Force, as well as UN Member States, and using the recent report of the Secretary-General as guidance, established specific themes and selected speakers for these four sessions.

Earlier this month the professionals or civil society organisations were given an opportunity to have their say at the Hearings of the General Assembly – a part of the official process - that convened from 14-15 June 2010 in New York. Links to U.N. Hearings are provided at this blog's related wiki, as is information on the four themes with links on either the participants and respondents taking part in the hearings or the organizations with which they work. The four themes are an attempt to highlight key aspects of the Millennium Declaration and the MDGs, while also emphasizing the interrelated nature of the MDGs and the international development agenda more broadly.

The Stand Up Take Action Campaign is implementing the on-the-street (and on the web) activism, whether those streets be dirt, paved or virtual, around the world-wide efforts.

A tremendous amount of effort by the UN Millennium Campaign is being made through numerous organizations and it is an effort to get one's head around the scope of this truly world-wide effort.

It still does not seem though that the Stand Up advocacy efforts are as well focused or are as near to reaching a tipping point needed to go beyond last year's impact even. Though understandably it is still all coming together and a great deal is going on at the various related websites and on Facebook. They have now have modified the landing page for the newsletter for 2010. I am still waiting for them to have sign-ups for online 2010 events and not just the 2009 widget.

Here are some more resources, I am still endeavoring to find the best way to organize all of this.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Articles from Diigo Make Noise MDGs 06/27/2010

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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Articles from Diigo Make Noise MDGs 06/15/2010

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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Generate Rural Income / Generate Solutions / Generate Hope

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This blog is a personal means of learning about and promoting the Millennium Development Goals. It is admittedly small and meager compared to many but I believe that we need many more small voices speaking up about these efforts and so have no problem with being a slacktivist. I also get a certain satisfaction out of creating these posts. I do often though get to interact with others who are doing more and Taking a Step Beyond - Personal efforts in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. As usual, this post complies data from different sources and provides links to hopefully provide a helpful source of information of this effort.

One such person and one of my online friends doing more is Susanta Biswas, an internationally recognized documentary maker (Homepage) who hails from Kolkata, India.

I can't show you one of his films but the slide show below will give you a taste of his work.

He started off documenting the blight of the less fortunate. Now he is taking another step. One of his more recent endeavors is the founding of the Krishnaa Human Initiatives (KHI), a Citizen Sector Organization founded in memory of (Smt.) Krishna Biswas who dedicated herself to progressive movements for the welfare of women and society. According to their website,

"KHI works with the grassroots-level organizations working directly with and for the underprivileged. It aims to play a significant role in augmentation of livelihood opportunities for the people at grass root level which leads to sustainable future. The Organization is registered under The West Bengal Societies Registration Act XXVI of 1961."
Taking advantage of freely available social media tools, he has also created a new Causes Generate rural income by managing Natural Resources on Facebook which at last count had reached 66 members. Through this and other online venues, he is promoting an upcoming seminar in his country.
Krishnaa Human Initiatives (KHI) works to explore various possibilities of managing Natural Resources to play significant role in Rural Development. It is going to organize an important seminar in Kolkata on Rural Development. Eminent speakers from relevant fields have given their consent to participate in the discussion. The Citizen Sector Organization aims to play a significant role in augmentation of livelihood opportunities of the people at grass root level.
The Krishnaa Human Initiatives (KHI), seminar in Kolkata on the “Significance of Natural Resource Management in Rural Development” will be taking place at Jivanananda Sabhaghar at Paschimbanga Bangla Academy, 1/1 A.J.C.Bose Road, Kolkata-700 020 on Friday, August 6, 2010. The discussion may lead to explore livelihood opportunities for the rural poor through natural resources.

Renowned Physicist Prof. Bikash Chandra Sinha {Padma Shri Award Winner 2001}, 2010 Padma Bhusan Award Winner, presently the Homi Bhaba Chair Professor of the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre will be the Chief Guest Speaker of the seminar. Shri Sailesh Kumar Bandyopadhyay, Padma Bhusan, Member of Khadi & Village Industries Commission will preside over the function. Prof Ashoke Nath Basu, Former Vice-Chancellor, Jadavpur University will participate in the seminar. As will eminent speakers from relevant fields representing , Ramakrishna Mission Shilpamandira, Vivekananda Institute of Bio-technology, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and Exide Industries.

This is of particular interest to me because what Dr. Jeffrey Sachs calls the on-the-ground solutions to the Millennium Development Goals will come from efforts like this. While I fully support the work of the United Nations and their many organizations such as UNDP, UNICEF, UNESCO and others, it will be hundreds of efforts such as this that will make the true difference in people's lives. Because of the World Wide Web we can share the lessons learned across the globe. It is my hope that they not only share what they learn with others of similar passions on the web, but they are also able to share it with the ongoing 2015 End Poverty Millennium Campaign and contribute what they solutions they are finding in their part of the world. My latest effort is trying to create sites where this could be possible at Bloggers Unite Make Noise for the Millennium Development Goals and Make NOISE for the MDGs on Grou.ps, both of which are still evolving.

Here are some other issues the KHI is working to address. What is noticeable is that they can all be included, either directly or indirectly, under the purview of the Millennium Development Goals either as issues to be addressed or means of finding solutions.

  • To acquire, establish, start, aid, run, maintain or manage educational institutes, libraries for the benefit of the public.
  • To arrange and organize lectures, debates, discussions, seminars & excursions for the diffusion of knowledge.
  • To publish or cause to be published useful literatures, magazines etc. without profit motive.
  • To promote and encourage advancement of literary, cultural, political, religious & scientific education.
  • To help the needy students of all communities for prosecution of studies.
  • To collect and preserve manuscripts, painting, sculptures, works of art, antiquities, natural history specimens, mechanical and scientific instruments and designs.
  • To help the aged, sick, helpless and indigent persons.
  • To alleviate the sufferings of animals or other living creatures as may be deemed appropriate.
  • To help to organize self-help group based programs for augmentation of the livelihood opportunities of the people at the grass root level as being beneficial to the public or to a section of public.
  • To fight against exploitation, injustice and corruption if found against any individual, class, community in the society.
  • To work for uplifting the status of women in the society. To work against female circumcision and to fight against the victimization of girl / women by anybody in the society on female circumcision or any other related issues.
  • To propagate the need for tree plantation / pollution control and environmental awareness.
  • To help and generate training program for self-employment of women and educated unemployed people and to work for adult education.
  • To create the means for providing medical assistance to the people suffering from diseases, especially for helpless people.
  • To provide help under health & nutrition services for women and children.
  • To promote rural industrialization including cluster development and Khadi
  • To promote entrepreneurs
  • To provide technical assistance and consultancy
  • To perform research and development as well as sharing science and technology
  • To provide help to people suffering from Natural calamities such as flood, Earthquakes etc.
  • To provide free legal advice to poor people.











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United Nations World Environment Day!

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Today is World Environment Day. This would have made a great Bloggers Unite event but I only learned about it today having had a chance to catch up with my online non-day job reading.

Nancy Roberts from Care2 Environment & Wildlife tells us what it is about by writing on How Do We Value Birds, Bees and Trees: World Environment Day Calls for Action!

As if saving the beauty of earth's plants and creatures weren't enough of a reason, a new U.N. report quantifies the economic case for restoring the world's damaged ecosystems. Wetlands treat wastewater; crops depend on the pollination of bees; tropical forests remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere--each ecosystem service contributes a vital and uncounted contribution to our wellbeing and that of future generations, yet every year the press of human activity is destroying the very systems upon which life on earth depends. UN Environmental Program (UNEP)'s Dead Planet, Living Planet showcases 30 initiatives that are transforming the lives of communities while restoring ecosystems around the world.

Sam Davidson of Cool People Care suggests that we think about taking some time this weekend, and think about the phrase, "Many species, one planet, one future" and how we treat the planet and our collective future on it. He also suggests finding a local event, reading about the celebration or taking a step whether small or a big, that helps to save the world. It is definitely a cool thing to do.

Not so much the reason for the concern which according to the NYTimes.com/Green Blog post is that a global loss in biodiversity threatens human beings.

In its latest Global Biodiversity Outlook, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity said that global biodiversity is disappearing at a rate higher than previously believed -- representing a threat to millions of people. Some 25% of widely used medicines are still made from plant or animal resources, and the disappearance of one element in an ecosystem can have an enormous impact on animals on which people depend. Scientists have seen declines in all measures of biodiversity: genes, species and ecosystems.

This demonstrates clearly the interrelationship between the Millennium Development Goals especially in this case between Millennium Development Goal No. 1. End Hunger and 7. Environmental Sustainability but it can also impact other Millennium Development Goals like 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases seeking to address global health because more than 60 per cent of the world's people depend directly on plants for their medicines.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Get Wall Street to stop gambling on the world's food and resources

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Peter O'Driscoll Executive Director, ActionAid USA is endeavoring to raise public pressure in favor of the FST tax, a small tax of 0.25% or less on risky speculation would generate at least $150 billion a year in the U.S. alone. These are a potential source of revenues that could fund real and lasting solutions to global poverty.

Since Wall Street's reckless gambling collapsed the global economy, Americans have had to foot much of the $14 trillion bill in lost wages, lost savings, and lost household wealth. Yet instead of freeing up credit for small businesses, modifying mortgages, and helping put Americans back to work, the banks have clamped down on credit, hiked up bank fees, and accelerated foreclosures.
But we finally have a chance to force Wall Street to do its fair share in fixing the problem it created. If President Obama endorses adding a small transaction tax to financial assets, such as stocks and derivatives, it could pay for new job creation and other urgent global priorities, including the challenges of poverty and climate change.
Sign the petition to President Obama, asking him to support a Financial Speculation Tax that would fund real, lasting solutions to domestic and global problems.
This small tax of 0.25% or less on the sale or purchase of a share of stock, bond, or derivative would not only hit risky speculators the hardest, it would also generate a steady stream of revenue for urgent national and international priorities – at least $150 billion a year in the U.S. alone.
Peter O'Driscoll Executive Director, ActionAid USA also recently wrote on the global commodity market illustrating the greed and lost opportunity for global change brought on by high risk speculation.
Just a few years ago, Wall Street's unrestrained gambling on the commodity markets helped cause the global food crisis of 2008.
Today, a group of senators is fighting to keep language in the financial reform bill that would set limits on commodity market trading. These reforms could have a direct and positive effect on the hungriest people in the world. But as you read this, these critical reforms are under attack.
The deregulation of commodity markets opened the doors to speculators who had no interest in purchasing food or energy except for the chance to turn a quick profit. This drove up prices across the globe, helping to cause the global food crisis of 2008. The U.N. estimated that an additional 130 million people were driven into hunger during this crisis.
Please, help protect the world's hungry people from Wall Street's greed. Tell your senators to maintain these strong reforms on commodity trading.

Raymond C. Offenheiser of the Oxfam America Advocacy Fund warns us of another danger in allowing to much economic power in unregulated hands,

Right now, oil, gas and mining companies are allowed to make massive payoffs to foreign governments entirely in secret – opening the door to corruption that can divert money from food, schools and health care and keep people in poverty. Just as the Gulf oil spill threatens to devastate communities – a stark reminder of oil drilling's impact on poor people – a bill to end this injustice is gaining support in Congress. But oil, gas and mining lobbyists are incredibly powerful, and lawmakers are telling us they need more support.Tell Congress to open the books on mining and drilling – and help millions of people lift themselves out of poverty. start

All of this reflects on a report in the June 1st issue of the UN Wire states that a G8 draft calls for renewed focus, action on MDGs

Improving performance on meeting Millennium Development Goals related to maternal and child health will feature prominently on the agenda when the G8 meets June 25 and 26, according to a draft text released in advance of the summit. The global economic crisis has jeopardized 2015 goals on poverty, disease, education, environment and maternal and child mortality rates, the draft warns. G8 representatives will also discuss creation of a legal framework for joint action on climate change.

The actual news story by AlertNet.org/Reuters (5/31) was more circumspect in its evaluation.

It was unclear how far the text, obtained by Reuters on Monday and including references to progress towards world economic recovery, had changed in recent weeks with shockwaves from a debt crisis in Greece.

So it is hard to be too excited about the supposed goodwill of the G8.

"Urgent collective action must be taken to regain lost ground and quicken the pace of progress" towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it said. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has sought focus on women and children.

The problem is that while the G8 optimistically states that,

"We undertake to champion a new initiative on maternal, newborn and under-five child health," according to the draft. It left a blank for how much money the eight nations would provide.
We can look to the Wall Street types as who to hold responsible for where the money went.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Girls Learning to Help Girls Learning to Help Themselves.

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It seems that this is the year of the Girl. This blog has written on issues related to Millennium Development Goal No. 3 Gender Equity and especially on programs focused on the younger set through the Girl Effect programs.

The idea is to intervene early to provide a sense of empowerment in young females so that they can make a difference in their societies when they grow up. Even with the younger set their are two sides, those who have and those who don't. The first program looks at those who have and endeavors to instill in them a sense of responsibility for girls leaving in circumstances far less fortunate.

Robin Marty of Care2 writing on Women's Rights wrote on the United Nations decision to Girl Up!

Today, the United Nations has taken another step to address these issues particular to girls across the globe with the launch of GirlUp, a campaign that "gives American girls the opportunity to channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for programs of the United Nations that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls." According to the campaign's website, "girls have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted, and positioned to be the next generation of leaders."
from Diigo. The rest of Make Noise for MDGs group favorite links are here.

The second program, introduced by Emily V. also of Care2 and part of the ThePetitionSite Team, is concerned with girls in developing countries. Emily is asking us to tell Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to use Bright Future as a model to end violence against women worldwide »

I did with the following message:

Bright Future gives women a fighting chance. It provides education and health checks for young girls and protects them from violence.

Bright Future is only one of many programs and projects in existence but none of them will have any impact if our governments do not take full responsibility of ensuring that these programs are supported. The United Nations is the best organization to push this agenda on a global scale as it is concurrently pushing for the implementation of Millennium Development Goal
3. Gender Equity and because girls are far less likely to be educated as compared with boys, with Millennium Development Goal 2. Universal Education

As of the time of posting this they were at 15,513 signatures! I put in my two cents taking the usual slacktivistic tactic of using the prepared online statement and throwing something related to the Millennium Development Goals. Those looking for a more hands on approach in the future should consider GirlUp as a place for future leaders.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Senator Boxer and the International Violence Against Women Act ( S. 2982)

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Lisa Ledoux, Internet Marketing Manager for Plan USA tells us that One in three girls will be assaulted in their lifetimes.

This blog has reported a number of times that Girls are at increased risk for abuse, trafficking, and violence at school.

Congress is still considering The International Violence Against Women Act (H.R. 4594, S. 2982), which seeks to define a strategic foreign policy approach to combating and responding to violence against women and girls. Persistence in these matters pays off and I urged our Congressional leaders to support the International Violence Against Women Act

The International Violence Against Women Act will help Plan and other organizations reach out to girls even more effectively by:

  • Addressing violence against women and girls comprehensively, by supporting health, legal, economic, social, and humanitarian assistance sectors and incorporating violence prevention and response best practices into these programs;
  • Helping to alleviate poverty and increasing the effectiveness of foreign assistance programs by ensuring they meet the needs of both women and men; and
  • Supporting survivors, holding perpetrators accountable, and preventing violence.

My efforts resulted in a response from Senator Boxer on S.2982

Dear Mr. Dowling:

Thank you for writing to me to express your support for S.2982, the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA). I appreciate hearing from you, and I agree with you.

I was proud to join with Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) in introducing S.2982, which gives the United States government the tools to make international violence against women and girls a top diplomatic priority of the United States. Every day, too many women and girls across the globe endure horrific acts of violence in their homes and communities. Women are disfigured by acid, beaten, and even killed in the name of "honor" by their families.

To achieve real and sustainable results in combating violence against women and to ensure that women have opportunities to live full and productive lives, the United States must take a more bold approach. That is why this bill requires the State Department to develop a comprehensive five-year strategy to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls internationally.

S.2982 has been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, of which I am a member. Rest assured, I will continue working to ensure that this critical legislation is passed by Congress and signed into law.

Again, thank you for writing to me. Please feel free to contact me again about this or any other issue of concern to you.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

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