Why 2010 is a crucial year for the world

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

In September 2000, world leaders met at the United Nations to sign the Millennium Declaration. This historical and inspirational declaration was, in fact, a global deal by which rich and poor governments of the world agreed to unite in an unprecedented common effort to eliminate the scourge of poverty and hunger, work towards achieving gender equality, fight environmental degradation, and reverse the advancement of HIV/AIDS, while improving access to education, health care and clean water, all by 2015.

To translate these wide-ranging commitments into concrete targets and measurable results, the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were brought together as a common framework for action and shared vision on development, representing a global partnership based on the collective responsibility of all countries.

At the dawn of the new century, this unprecedented political consensus on what should be done and by whom, provided us all with a sense of purpose and renewed optimism: ‘We were the first generation that could put an end to poverty, and we refused to miss the opportunity!’

The world was on track to achieve at least the first MDG of halving the number of extreme poor; and was coming close in several others. Now, that hard fought progress is at risk.

10 years after the Millennium Declaration was signed, the economic crisis, which originated within the world’s major financial centers, has spread throughout the global economy. Developing countries, which are least responsible for the crisis, are bearing the brunt of its impact, and severe social, political, and economic dislocation and a rise in social conflict and distress are only emphasised by natural disasters such as the recent earthquake that brought Haiti and its people to their knees.

With just five years left to 2015, we cannot afford to undo progress made towards achieving the MDGs.  As time is running out, we need to redouble our efforts, take stock at what has been achieved, renew our joint commitment, and demand world leaders to keep their promises and accelerate progress towards the MDGs.

This year 2010 poses an unprecedented opportunity to rally and revitalise efforts. Building on the assumption that “business as usual” will not get us to the Goals by 2015, this year we all have to assess our own contributions to make the MDG a reality.

From the 20th-22nd of September, 2010, Heads of State will meet again at the United Nations headquarters to review the successes, to learn from the failures, and to discuss the launch of detailed plans on how to ensure the attainment of the MDGs by 2015. It will be a defining opportunity to galvanise new political commitment, spur the collective action and efforts needed to meet the MDGs by the 2015.

Join us, and millions of people across the globe, as we Stand Up and Take Action Against Poverty.

Join hands with us to Stand Up on 17-19 September just before leaders arrive at the UN MDG+10 Summit in New York. (We will keep you posted when more details emerge).

The MDGs can be achieved. There are No Excuses: End Poverty Now. Remember: “We STILL are the first generation that CAN end poverty, and we MUST refuse to miss the opportunity!’

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