Global Policy Forum

New UN Millennium Campaign Aims to Spark Global Movement

United Nations
October 1, 2002


A new campaign announced today by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan aims to galvanize a global movement to press governments to translate pledges made at the UN's 2000 Millennium Summit into reality, according to a senior UN official.

"The man or woman on the street in a developing or developed country doesn't feel part of a global summit, and by making these Millennium Development Goals a very accessible, open, transparent monitoring system, country-by-country as well as globally, we hope to engage people everywhere, and to engage them as voters and citizens in demanding progress towards these goals," Mark Malloch Brown, the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), said at a press briefing held today to launch the Millennium Campaign. "By focusing international action on these goals, we think we can mobilize a political focus and an economic and social effort which can make them attainable."

The 15-year targets set in 2000 include halving extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education and gender equity, reducing under-five mortality and maternal mortality by two-thirds and three-quarters respectively, reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS, halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, and ensuring environmental sustainability.

Central to the UN's effort to realize these aims will be a new push to help countries prepare their own reports on progress achieved so far. "When people everywhere can see how their country is doing and how their region is doing compared to people next door, this data will drive political change," Mr. Malloch Brown explained. "It will lead people to demand of their governments more access to education, better health care, [and to ask] tough questions such as why the country next door is doing better than we are in terms of providing benefits to its citizens."

He said efforts would be made to build "coalitions of the like-minded, allies at the country and global level, who will fight, organize, demonstrate, write their congressmen and members of parliament, take whatever action is required to force the Millennium Development Goals to the top of the democratic agenda everywhere." The aim, he added, is to "really create a global movement behind these goals."

Eveline Herfkens, former Minister for Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, who the Secretary-General today named as an adviser on the promotion of the Millennium Development Goals, said that in the past, much time had been wasted because of disagreements over how to proceed. "The best news in decades for the poor has been that finally there is an international consensus about the Millennium Development Goals," she said. "The best news for the poor in centuries would be if we actually would implement these goals."




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