United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged representatives of philanthropic foundations to support the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000 by world leaders at a landmark UN summit.
"It is my hope that this initial meeting will lead to the creation of new partnerships, and - in cases where we are already working together - to a strengthening of our collaboration in the years ahead," the Secretary-General told a gathering in New York of representatives of several high-profile, multimillion dollar foundations. "As we in the United Nations seek to broaden and deepen coalitions for change around the Millennium Development Goals, we know that we can only do this with your full participation and support."
The targets set in 2000 include halving extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education and gender equity, reducing under-five mortality and maternal mortality by two-thirds and three-quarters respectively, reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS, halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and ensuring environmental sustainability.
"These goals are inextricably linked to each other and to the broader purposes of this Organization," the Secretary-General said. While acknowledging that the challenges appeared immense, he pointed to a growing global momentum towards a change in priorities. "The horrors of September 11 strengthened our sense of a common destiny, and people around the world are looking for strategies and solutions to the challenges that we as one human family face together," he said.
Among those attending the meeting were representatives of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the Gates Foundation, the Markle Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Other attendees included those from the MacArthur Foundation, the UN Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Riksbankens Jubileumffond, and the European Foundation Centre.