Taking a Bite Out of the Millennium Development Goals

We Can END Poverty 2015
Jul 6, 2010 4:45 PM ET

The Acacia Group - Socially Responsible Leadership

The first of a series of blogs on the MDGs and how they inform CSR, community development, and leadership and learning.

With only five years left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs], UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on world leaders to attend a summit in New York on 20 – 22 September 2010 to accelerate progress towards the MDGs’ – The Call to action on the UN Website for the MDGs   The MDGs – adopted in 2000 as the United Nations Millennium Declaration – were the culmination of a decade of UN conferences and summits and demonstrated a global commitment to reduce extreme poverty. A series of time bound targets were established with a deadline of 2015 and the MDGs became eight simple statements with the potential to change the world:
  • End Poverty and Hunger (eradicate extreme poverty and hunger)

  • Universal Education (achieve universal primary education)

  • Gender Equality (promote gender equality and empower women)

  • Child Health (reduce child mortality)

  • Maternal Health (improve maternal health)

  • Combat HIV/AIDs (combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases)

  • Environmental Sustainability (ensure environmental sustainability)

  • Global Partnership (develop a global partnership for development)

In the past 10 years the world’s awareness of these eight key global challenges has increased dramatically. Who has not seen or heard news and profiles on micro-financing, malaria nets, accessible anti retroviral drugs, funding for maternal health, and the environment. These simple eight goals have shaped our local (think your local coffee shop and fair trade coffee), national (recent debates on maternal health funding at the G20), and international conversations. Eight simple goals that just might change the world.   This past month a report was released entitled `What will it take to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals? – An International Assessment’ – June 2010. It is an encouraging read. Based on a review of 50 country studies the authors conclude that the resources and the know-how necessary to achieve the MDGs exist – and some changes in approach may be needed.   A key message from the report is that the Goals have synergies and improvements in that one can speed up progress in others. Women and young girls are key. Ensuring girls have unfettered access to health, education and productive assets helps progress across the MDGs’ is just one statement made in the report.   A key strategy identified to accelerate progress on the MDGs lies with investing in expanded opportunities for women and girls and advancing their economic, legal and political empowerment.   With five years left to achieve the goals laid out in 2000, it is not just the global leaders who have a role to play in accelerating progress. Each of us as a global citizen, a national citizen, and as a corporate citizen carry a responsibility to become knowledgeable about the goals, to understand why they matter, to know the questions we need to ask, and to consider the actions we can take. The global leaders cannot do it alone.   The Acacia Group’s mission is to offer transformative and unique leadership development for organizations and individuals seeking to live out their global citizenship. To do this we blend knowledge from Corporate Social Responsibility, Community Development and Leadership Development and Learning to emerge new opportunities for excellence for our clients.   ACACIA7725