The conference in Ottawa was all about the Millenium Development Goals - but what are those? According to statistics, less then 10% of Canadians have ever heard about them (and I can't say I really knew, before I began my studies), so let's do a little introduction. According to Stephen Lewis, special UN envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa (amazing guy, even has his own foundation); the MDGs are in a way a natural consequence of the big summits of the 90s (population, water issues, poverty reduction etc. Even Kyoto.) where big goals were set, but seldom followed up on. The MDGs were unanimously accepted by the UN member states in 2000, and list 8 goals that with clear and measurable targets, that are to be achieved by 2015.

The goals are as follows:
  • Goal 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Goal 2 Achieve universal primary education
  • Goal 3 Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Goal 4 Reduce child mortality
  • Goal 5 Improve maternal health
  • Goal 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  • Goal 7 Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Goal 8 Develop a global partnership for development

Most of the goals focus on what the developing countries are to do (hopefully with the help and guidance of the developed countries), where as goal 8 focuses entirely on how richer countries can contribute (and so was extensively discussed at the CIDA conference).


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