Millennium Development Goals | UNA Greater Seattle Chapter

United Nations Association Greater Seattle Chapter

Oct 17: UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

October 14th, 2010 by UNA Seattle
United Nations DESA ATD Fourth World NGO Subcommittee for the Eradication of Poverty
NGO Subcommittee for the Eradication of Poverty

Through resolution A/RES/47/196 adopted on 22 December 1992, the General Assembly declared 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and invited all States to devote the Day to presenting and promoting, as appropriate in the national context, concrete activities with regard to the eradication of poverty and destitution.

The theme this year is “From Poverty to Decent Work: bridging the gap”.

The 2010 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty comes at a time when people living in poverty and informal sector workers are even more uncertain about employment stability, working conditions, training opportunities and the availability of social protection. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the share of workers in vulnerable employment worldwide is estimated to reach more than 1.5 billion, equivalent to over half (50.6%) of the world’s working population. With attention focused on the start of the International Year of Youth, young people are known to be particularly affected. The ILO found that the global unemployment rate reached 6.6% in 2009, up 0.9% from 2007, while the global youth unemployment rate rose from 11.8% in 2007 to 13.4% in 2009, with wide regional variations. The Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017), with the theme of “Full employment and decent work for all”, is an important framework for action through which Member States and the United Nations system can effectively address the global priorities of employment and decent work for poverty eradication.

The main observance will endeavour to illustrate ways in which access to decent work and opportunities for learning and training can be developed with people in poverty, taking into account the existing efforts and experiences of youth, their families, and those working in the informal sector. Testimonies will highlight the need to support initiatives and programmes which are participatory and rights-based, creating a dialogue among different partners (families, workers, social services and employers). New approaches which overcome exclusion and are environmentally, socially and economically advantageous will be highlighted.

The 2010 commemoration will take place on Monday, 18 October at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Read more about International Day for the Eradication of Poverty here.

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Educating World-Class Citizens

September 4th, 2010 by UNA Seattle

Primary Education GoalsThe United Nations has long held the belief that education is of the utmost importance for long-term well-being. In fact, the 2nd most important goal proposed in the 2015 Millennium Development Goals, listed in priority after ending poverty and hunger, is to achieve universal primary education – specifically to “Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.”

In the greater Seattle area, the goals – and concerns – are very similar. Right now, Seattle schools face many of the same challenges seen throughout the globe: low graduation rates, shrinking teacher wages and expanding classroom sizes, to name a few. But there are those among us who have a plan. Select local community members and educators are utilizing new media tools to successfully foster ideas and seed innovation among primary educators throughout the city. The links below explore the innovative projects helping to engage and serve the educational community of Seattle.

1. Why citizens should care about Seattle school contract negotiations

Seattle Times guest columnists Phil Bussey and Jeremy Jaech of the Our Schools Coalition argue that everyone should be concerned about the ongoing negotiations between the Seattle Education Association and Seattle Public Schools. Their nine-part proposal (described in detail at www.ourschoolscoalition.org) is rooted in driving positive student outcomes, and will result in new ways for teachers to be recognized, rewarded and compensated.

2. Do we owe kids more than netbooks?

Seattle-born freelance writer and content design consultant Christopher Dawson suggests that the notable Netbook might not be the next best wave of the future for local schools.

3. Denny International Middle School among those showing improvement

In a press release from the Seattle Public Schools today Denny International was included in those that showed improvement in math and writing and reading scores. Innovative professional development programs, such as the Studio math program, attributed with much success.

4. Looking for way that you can help Seattle schools succeed? Check out these volunteer opportunities with Seattle Public Schools!

• Be a tutor or a mentor

• Help students with homework

• Listen to children read

• Play educational games with students

• Assist with math or science

• Share information about local history

• Help students learn another language

• Support projects, activities, or field trips

• Assist with after-school programs

• Provide office support

• Become involved with school leadership

http://www.seattleschools.org/area/vol/vol_opps.xml

Please become a member of UNA of Greater Seattle, and join a movement of Americans who support responsible global leadership and a strong UN! www.unaseattle.org

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Big Push Underway to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals

May 17th, 2010 by UNA Seattle

In September of 2000 the heads of the world’s nations, 190 strong, gathered at the UN in New York to adopt the Millennium Development Goals. The eight goals express the world’s commitment to end extreme poverty and hunger, promote health and education, and distribute more equitably the benefits of sustainable development, all by 2015.

With just five years remaining until the deadline, much remains to be done to achieve the goals, especially in some regions such as sub-Saharan Africa. The task has been made more difficult by the global financial crisis and by growing evidence that climate change is impacting agricultural productivity, a key sector in many developing economies.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders to attend a Summit in New York on 20-22 September 2010 to boost progress towards the MDGs. He has issued a call to member states to redouble efforts to achieve the MDGs, and has authored “Keeping the Promise” ( ), an action-oriented outcome report for the Summit.

Ban’s report identifies successes and gaps in achieving the MDGs, and lays out an agenda for 2010-2015. “Our world possesses the knowledge and resources to achieve the MDGs,” Mr. Ban says in the report. Falling short of the Goals “would be an unacceptable failure, moral and practical.”

The development plans of developing nations characteristically use the MDGs as the principle set of metrics for monitoring their progress. They see the goals holistically, while rich world nations and NGOs are often focused on specific programs that usually encompass one goal and a limited range of targets.

In his first address to the UN General Assembly last September, President Obama said: “We will support the Millennium Development Goals, and approach next year’s summit with a global plan to make them a reality. And we will set our sights on the eradication of extreme poverty in our time.”

This would seem to indicate that the US will play a lead role in this year’s MDGs Summit and that planning now underway in the Department of State and other agencies involved in development assistance will reflect that leadership.

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