Tag Archives: UN

Millenium development goals summit


Millennium development goals LIVE: World leaders begin gathering in New York today for a three-day UN millennium development goals summit to review ambitious anti-poverty targets adopted in 2000. Follow updates throughout the summit… (via guardian.co.uk.)


Millenium development goals summit day two – live updates: Among today’s highlights at the UN MDG summit, Hillary Clinton is set to unveil an initiative on clean cooking stoves… (via guardian.co.uk.)


Five years on: Africa’s struggle to raise a new generation: As world leaders gather to discuss milliennium development goals in New York, the Guardian returns to its pledge to track the live of 10 babies born in countries across the continent up to 2015. We talk to them and their parents… (via guardian.co.uk.)


U.N. Poverty Goals Face Accountability Questions: There is little disagreement over the United Nations goal of eliminating dire poverty, but there is plenty of criticism about how leaders are going about it….(via NYT.)

Millennium development goals need more emphasis on human rights: World leaders gathered in New York to encourage progress towards meeting the millennium development goals, a set of eight objectives – ranging from eradicating extreme poverty and hunger to reducing child mortality and achieving universal primary education – to be achieved by 2015… (via guardian.co.uk.)

We Can End Poverty, Millennium Development Goals, 2015: With only five years left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), world leaders are meeting at a summit in New York (20-22 September) to accelerate progress towards the MDGs.

“There is no global project more worthwhile,” Mr. Ban told the nearly 140 Heads of State and Government taking part in the three-day meeting at UN Headquarters in New York. “Let us send a strong message of hope. Let us keep the promise.”… (via UN.)


We’ve made great strides on global poverty – let’s make more | Mark Malloch-Brown: What a difference a decade seems to make. In September 2000 the United Nations general assembly set aside differences and voted unanimously for Kofi Annan’s ambitious blueprint for tackling global poverty. Less than a decade after the end of the cold war, amid growing economic confidence, there was a feeling that things really could get better – for everyone.

Fast-forward a decade, and world leaders are once gathering again in New York for a poverty summit – but this time against a backdrop of financial jitters, climate change fears and rising food prices. Nobody is declaring victory. But as the UN’s development chief who led the drafting of the eight anti-poverty targets that we branded the millennium development goals (MDGs), I believe that setting the goals has been fully vindicated – unless, of course, governments give up on them now…. (via Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.)


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What Could You Do with $150 million?

You could make Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time…

Movie review: ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’: With apologies to Ben Franklin, the only things certain in life are death, taxes and that a Jerry Bruckheimer film will do its bombastic best to pummel, pound and, now, parkour you into submission. “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” is all that — deaths by the thousands and the sort of spectacular spectacle possible with a rumored budget of $150 million and change. (via Los Angeles Times.)

or Angelina Jolie’s new movie Salt, which cost $130 million – so you could make that and have a few million to put away for a rainy day. But you couldn’t make Inception, which reported cost $200 million to make.

Or you make a small contribution to help the people of Pakistan, devastated by floods in recent weeks, in what has been described as a “global disaster” that is worse than the 2004 tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and the Haiti earthquake put together.

Pakistan floods are a ‘slow-motion tsunami’: The US has pledged an extra $60m in help, bringing America’s total aid to $150m. (via The Guardian.)

How is it that the US government has pledged no more in aid money for this global disaster than was spent making Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – a disaster of a movie?

Web2.0 and Labor1.0 – and a Call to Action on the Millennium Development Goals

Over the past couple of months I’ve been writing sporadically about what I’ve termed “Labor2.0” – that is, the grimy world of work, of labor, that lies underneath the glossy surface of our Web2.0 world – of World2.0 – or maybe we should say Capitalism2.0 (except it feels like we are up to version 3 or 4, at least, on that).

In my first couple of discussions of the topic, I focused on systems like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and other forms of content creation that seem exploitative in the labor practices they involve – ranging from Mechanical Turk’s digital sweatshop to the unpaid work that we all seem happy to do for large media corporations to the expropriated labor that formed the basis for GraceNotes and IMDb.com.

More recently, in my discussion of toxic exposure in a Chinese factory assembling components for, among other things, Apple iPhones, I tried to highlight the linkages between the world of Web2.0 and much more traditional forms of exploitation and violence, in the way that the supply chain that produces our goodies has its beginning in often appalling working conditions.

Here’s a reminder that Labor1.0 – the Dickensian world of child labor in primitive factories – is still very much with us:

Sweatshop girl ‘has no choice but to work’: As part of a series assessing whether Bangladesh is on track to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, the BBC’s Alastair Lawson visits a safety pin factory in the capital, Dhaka, which employs children

The electricity supply in the sweatshop in the crowded part of old Dhaka where Asma, 10, makes safety pins for a living is so dangerous that the foreman can only turn on the lights using a broomstick.

“If I use my hands I may get an electric shock,” he explains.

(via BBC News.)

After watching the video that accompanies this story, and looking at the other material in the BBC series on Bangladesh and the Millennium Development Goals, I hope you’ll take the time to check out – if you aren’t already familiar with it – the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in more detail.

Of course they are not perfect, and are full of compromises, but they do represent a real attempt to come to grips with problems like poverty and hunger, underdevelopment, climate change and the status of women.

There’s a conference – a summit – being held at the UN in September, and I would love to see a demonstration there, a gathering of radicals from around the world such as we see at G8 and IMF meetings. Not to enact a violent refusal, though, as is done at those events, but rather to articulate (qualified) support for the Millennium Development Goals; to demand that world governments live up to the commitments they’ve made to take steps against poverty, hunger, disease and climate change; and to put forward visions for even more radical “development” goals, for transformation goals.

With only five years left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on world leaders to attend a summit in New York on 20-22 September 2010 to boost progress towards the MDGs.

(via United Nations Millennium Development Goals.)

Let’s tell them what our millennium goals are, show then our vision of globalization, of a world for people not profit. Let’s “make poverty history” for real – not with t-shirts, wrist bands and pop concerts, but with real social change.

The President’s Inaugural Address

On January 20th 2009, a new president may be inaugurated. I say only may because it is hard for me to see McCain as new, as any sort of change from what’s been inflicted on us these past eight years – “meet the new boss…” and all that. But if the United States does elect a new president, Barack Obama – as I desperately hope it will – what will he say in his inauguration? He could do much worse that this, by the fictional President Phil Chase:

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