Millennium Development Goals Summit

When heads of states and governments met at the United Nations Headquarters in the year 2005 for a World Summit, they had agreed on eight Millennium Development Goals. They were sure that they can eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empowerment of women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development by the year 2015. I was among those skeptics who did not believe that the set targets and goals are achievable within that short a time frame. I thought that those world leaders were too optimistic. But now I am surprised that despite the financial crisis, numbers of countries have made progress in some areas i.e. improve enrollment of primary school, lower rate of child mortality, improve service for maternal health, and HIV/AIDS prevention, improve awareness of the importance of reproductive health and rights, of gender equality, and women’s rights. This week from 20-22 of September 2010, heads of states and governments have come together again at the United Nations to review past action, achievements, and the areas for future action to meet the set goals. As for the outcome of this Summit, I hope to see a firm commitment to accelerate efforts to reach targets of the Millennium Goals. Increase in quantity and quality of development assistance is key element of success. The same as for the full participation of all stakeholders in development policy and programs which can strengthen local ownership within each country. NGOs and Foundations have a vital role to play in mobilization of people and resources. A good example of this is the activity of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Their media program, TEDxChange, organized in New York as a parallel activity to the Millennium Goals Summit, has made a tremendous impact around the World.

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