The Conference, “Millennium Development Goals: Civil Society Takes Action”, will take place from 8-10 September 2004. It focuses on the worldwide efforts of NGOs to support the United Nations campaigns to dramatically reduce indices of extreme poverty by 2015.
In an effort to make events relating to civil society at United Nations Headquarters more accessible to a broader public, the NGO Section of the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) has launched an interactive web site highlighting the proceedings of the Conference.
The new web site aims to increase the number of participants outside United Nations Headquarters, especially NGO activists, the media and citizens from around the world. Viewers can access the plenary sessions live at: http:www.undpingoconference.org. The interactive web site will broadcast in English, French and Spanish and include an on-line discussion area for comments, questions and answers before, during, and after the plenary sessions.
The Conference is designed to raise awareness of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) among civil society organizations, especially NGOs. At the Millennium Summit in 2000, 189 Member States adopted a Declaration that synthesized the priorities of the international agenda and reflected the commitments that had been painstakingly negotiated during the previous decade of world conferences. The Millennium Declaration, and the eight goals it identified, have become a road map for tackling poverty, instability, HIV/AIDS, gender inequality and violence in virtually all parts of the world.
The web site will webcast the five plenary panel sessions: 1) Towards 2015: MDG Progress to Date, 2) Obstacles to the MDGs: Strategies to Overcome Them, 3) North/South Partnerships: Different Responsibilities and Opportunities, 4) Making MDGs Relevant: Taking the Campaigns Home and 5) Public Hearing: Conference Participants Voice Their Views.
“We believe it is crucial to make our meetings here in New York accessible to interested people around the world”, says Mr. Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information of the United Nations. “NGOs are key partners in our efforts to inform and involve a broader constituency of UN supporters.”
In addition to the plenary panels and 30 Midday NGO Interactive Workshops, the Conference will feature speakers such as Eveline Herfkins, Executive Coordinator, United Nations Millennium Development Goals Campaign, Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals, Mark Malloch Brown, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Kavita Ramdas, President of the Global Fund for Women, Jacques Attali, Founder and President of PlaNet Finance, Ryokichi Hirono, Senior Adviser of the Japan Council on the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and Bineta Diop, Founder and Executive Director of Femmes Africa SolidaritÃ¯Â¿Â½, among others.
Another dynamic feature of the web site is the on-line message boards, where participants can share comments on MDG Conference topics and NGO issues. The interactive “Discussion forums” section is coming soon. The plenary session message boards will enable participants to ask a question that may be shared at the plenary session for real-time participation. All Conference content will be archived for future dialogue and discussion. To access the web site and learn more about the MDGs, please go to the Conference web site at www.UNdpiNGOconference.org. For further information on the DPI/NGO Section, visit: www.un.org/dpi/ngosection.