Thursday, September 25, 2008

Checking in on our New Millenium Resolutions

Not sure if you knew that in September 2000 189 governments (including the USA) gathered at the United Nations to write The Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The MDG outline steps to create a more just world by 2015.

TODAY on September 25, the United Nations hosts a High-level Event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) during the General Assembly. We're now at the midway point to the 2015 deadline set to achieve the MDG. High food and fuel prices and the global economic slowdown threaten progress on the goals now. Will the MDG go the route of my New Year's resolutions? [Did I even make a New Year's resolution?]

The Millennium Development Goals intend by the year 2015 to:

  1. ERADICATE EXTREME HUNGER AND POVERTY by cutting in half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day and the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. Update: 1.2 billion people still live on less than $1 a day. But 43 countries, with more than 60 per cent of the world’s people, have already met or are on track to meet the goal of cutting hunger in half by 2015.

  2. ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION by ensuring all boys and girls complete primary education. Update: 113 million children do not attend school, but this goal is within reach; India, for example, should have 95 per cent of its children in school by 2005.

  3. PROMOTE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER WOMEN by eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education. Update: Two-thirds of the world’s illiterates are women, and 80 per cent of its refugees are women and children. Since the 1997 Micro Credit Summit, there is progress in reaching and empowering poor women.

  4. REDUCE CHILD MORTALITY by two-thirds for children under five. Update: 11 million young children die every year. That number is down from 15 million in 1980.

  5. IMPROVE MATERNAL HEALTH by reducing the rate of maternal mortality by three-quarters. In the developing world, the risk of dying in childbirth is one in 48. But virtually all countries now have safe motherhood programs. Will there be progress?

  6. COMBAT HIV/AIDS, MALARIA AND OTHER DISEASES by halting, and beginning to reverse, the spread of these diseases. Update: Killer diseases have erased a generation of development gains. Countries like Brazil, Senegal, Thailand and Uganda have shown that we can stop HIV in its tracks.

  7. ENSURE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY by reducing by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, reversing the loss of environmental resources, and improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers (by 2020). Update: More than one billion people still lack access to safe drinking water; however, during the 1990s, nearly one billion people gained access to safe water and as many to sanitation.

  8. DEVELOP A GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT. Too many developing countries are spending more on debt service than on social services.

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth.
Everybody’s crew.

Marshall McCluhan

A global chorus of voices is calling to make poverty history. We have the resources, we have the knowledge, but do we have the will?
What would it take to make them a reality?

photo caption: Bolivian friends, among the world's poorest people, pose with me--their (nerdly!) North American visitor--on their patio.


Randal Graves said...

I think of the trillion dollars we've wasted on Iraq and this bailout and realize we could be further along with these goals.

Would help if governments figured out that if third world poverty and affiliated problems - like, oh, our exploitation of them - were eliminated, there would be less problems for us in the developed world.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Thank you for posting this. I've been wanting to know more about the MDGs. I think I should download them.

Gordon Brewer said...

Hopefully the events of this past week will be a wake-up call to realign our priorities... we have the will to spend 700 billion on preserving privilage... we have to; no we MUST, create the will to spend an equal amount on eradicating poverty...

DivaJood said...

You are so good at this! I bow down in awe.

Border Explorer said...

Randal: You mean problems like terrorism?

Ruth: Great. Spread the word.

Gordon: Welcome! I join that prayer.

Diva: ! Back atcha, GF.

Missy said...

There's one thing we can do. We can ask our Congress men and women to support the Global Poverty Act.

Excellent post, BE. On the side of the underdog, as always.

(Amen, Gordon)

Abuela Marty said...

Thanks for your nice comment on my blog! I'll have to keep in touch w/ yours!

The irony of the U.S. not seeming to work more for the MDGs is that we may be in more need than ever of understanding poverty... our own back yard!

Border Explorer said...

Missy: Great link! Yea Obama!

Abuela Marty: Welcome! Yes, soon we may be the ones in need of development. Very soon! I hope our grandchildren will be OK.

SCG said...

Very good MDG post, and thanks for adding your voice to this important cause (as well as the nice comment at my blog today!)
I believe the call to all of us is to start paying attention. Clearly, you are! Thank you!

Scott Hankins said...

Though much remains to be done, it is heartening to hear the progress you report here on most of the goals. I will share some of this good news with the folks in my little sphere of influence, because this is a demonstration that the MDG effort really can work. Success engenders wider participation. Thank you.

Jan said...

Good job! Thank you for posting about the MDG's.

Dusty said...

Hey, this is great and I was sadly unaware of this resolution.

We all need to be aware of it.

Putting this up on Sirens! Thanks B.E., you rock sista :)

Border Explorer said...

SCQ: I've got your blog bookmarked now. See you on Wake Up and Live.

Scott: Thanks for visiting. We both hope the MDG succeed. I'm bookmarking you, too.

Jan: Glad you liked it. Thanks.

Dusty: I blame the MSM you didn't know about the MDG. Not your fault! Thanks muchly for reposting. You're my hero!