As I mentioned earlier, this is the summer of the MDGs. In the latest of such develepments, Ban Ki Moon appointed an outside panel of government officials and civic leaders as part of an advocacy group in support of the Millennium Development Goals. The panel is co-chaired by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Spainish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Nobel laureates Mohammad Yunus and Wangari Maathai, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, (Nelson Mandela’s wife) Graca Machel, Bill Gates and Ted Turner will also serve on the panel. Not a bad collection of global super-stars, eh?
Here is UN Foundation founder Ted Turner’s statement on his appointment:
“We need a long-term plan for humanity and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals offer us an urgent to-do list to address the world’s toughest challenges. Tackling global poverty and disease, protecting the environment, and improving the health of the world’s women and children have to remain at the top of our agenda.
“To advance the MDGs by 2015, we need a smart and coordinated global effort. As an advocate, I am dedicated to doing all I can to make progress on the MDGs. I commend UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his leadership in building partnerships between the public and private sectors that will help us reach these goals.
“Today it is clear that the UN’s Millennium Development Goals are the world’s goals. We cannot stand by while close to 1.4 billion people—about a fifth of the world’s population—live on less than a dollar a day. The good news is we are making progress. Childhood deaths have been reduced from 12.5 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. The increasing usage of technology and mobile devices is creating new pathways for information-sharing and enhancing the delivery of health care and surveillance. Today we are using smarter, cleaner ways to provide energy for the planet. And the number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy increased tenfold from 2003-2008. This progress is encouraging but our work is far from over.
“In just a few months, world leaders will meet in New York for the UN’s MDG Summit. I encourage others to join me – as citizen advocates for the MDGs – to contribute to this fight. Private Philanthropy has got to take on the toughest challenges. Everyone has something to contribute and there are ways that people can dedicate their time, energy or money to help the UN in its work. We can’t do it alone. By working together, we can improve the lives of people around the world.”