U.N., Google, Cisco Systems Launch Web Site Aimed at Providing Data on Millennium Development Goals
The United Nations, Google and Cisco Systems on Thursday launched a Web site aimed at providing data and information on global efforts to meet the U.N. Millennium Development Goals, the AP/International Herald Tribune reports.
The Web site, called MDG Monitor, will provide updated information on efforts to fight malnutrition, poverty and diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. In addition, site users can use Google Earth's map and satellite images to explore places where programs aimed at meeting the MDGs have been implemented, Michael Jones, chief technologist for Google Earth and Maps, said. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon added that the site will provide information for policymakers and development experts to learn from successes and setbacks in other countries and will increase public awareness about efforts to achieve the goals.
Ban said the new Web site is "crucial" because it will provide information about the MDGs in one place "for all who seek it with a few simple clicks of the mouse." He added that "achieving the MDGs is a matter of political will" and that the "resources, knowledge and tools for achieving the goals do exist."
The project -- which received $150,000 from corporate donors -- has a total budget of $200,000, according to the U.N. Development Program, which is facilitating the site. Data on the site are compiled from U.N. agencies, the World Bank and governments, Kemal Dervis, UNDP administrator, said. Dervis added that data can be hard to obtain and can differ among sources. The United Nations "hope[s] to gradually ... open the site to all organizations who gather statistics to offer their information," Dervis said (AP/International Herald Tribune, 11/2).