Politicians, Business Executives, Advocates Call for Increased Funding for U.N. Millennium Development Goals
Political leaders, business executives and advocates at the World Economic Forum last week in Davos, Switzerland, called for increased commitment to help meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which include objectives to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases worldwide, VOA News reports (Wood, VOA News, 1/25). The world is facing a "development emergency," the leaders said in a statement, adding that they pledge to "work together to help the world get back on track to meet the MDGs."
The statement includes signatures from:
- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon;
- Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua;
- U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown;
- Jordan's Queen Rania Al Abdullah;
- Bill Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;
- Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chair of WEF;
- Irish musician and advocate Bono; and
Cisco Chair and CEO John Chambers (WEF release, 1/27).
"Too many nations have fallen behind," Ban said at a news conference, adding, "We need fresh ideas and fresh approaches. It is unacceptable that one child dies of hunger every day, every five seconds." Ban said he will use the annual U.N. summit in September to highlight the MDGs. "We will bring together the world leaders and together demand action," he said, adding, "We must re-energize the world's commitment" to the MDGs (Evans, Reuters, 1/25).
Brown said, "If we do not act, we will have no opportunity to reach," the MDGs by 2015, adding, "We must summon everyone who is concerned about this" (VOA News, 1/25). Brown also pledged to convene a conference of business executives in May in London to consider ways that businesses can help meet the MDGs (Kennedy, Bloomberg, 1/25). According to Brown, the MDGs also will be discussed at a meeting of European Union leaders in June, as well as during the Group of Eight industrialized nations summit in Japan in July (Reuters, 1/25).
Yar'Adua said that many African countries have weak infrastructures in health, transportation and education, adding, "We are going to apply ourselves and deploy resources to target the particular objectives of the MDGs. And we'll work day and night with renewed effort and renewed commitment" (VOA News, 1/25). Chambers said that unlike previous initiatives, this time business will "make a difference, because through collaboration, firms can achieve what we can not accomplish ourselves" (Weber, BBC News, 1/25). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.