Academia can and should play a critical role in helping United Nations Member States to achieve the globally agreed anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, the Deputy Secretary-General said today.
Addressing the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, where she has studied and lectured, Asha-Rose Migiro said the MDGs – including commitments to eradicate poverty and hunger, slash maternal mortality and fight diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria – are realistic targets that can be reached with sufficient will and resources.
“Success is not a matter of new plans of action… political will from the top is critical,” Ms. Migiro said. “But no less important is the support from all of our partners – especially you, here in academia.”
She said academics and students can help to act “as a filter on the kind of knowledge” relevant to the lives of ordinary persons in countries such as Tanzania.
“Knowledge for knowledge’s own sake will not feed the people. You have the responsibility to advise governments on a broad spectrum of issues that impact national development. Academia can serve as a powerful clearing house that customizes general knowledge to respond to issues specific to Tanzania and beyond.”