Coming up soon, on October 16 and 17, is an event called Stand Up and Speak Out. Stand Up is a collection of events worldwide where participants are encouraged to stand up and speak out in favor of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Last year a total of about 23.5 million people participated in the event. Schools, church groups, political groups, business groups, and individuals literally stood up to show their support for the Goals. The event set a record that was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records and the event expects to set a new record this year.
What are Millennium Development Goals?
Back in 2000 a resolution was adopted by the General Assembly of the U.N., called the United Nations Millennium Declaration. Included in the declaration are 8 goals that the nations of the world agreed to achieve by the year 2015. The resolution was adopted by 192 nations.
Here are the eight goals:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than one U.S. dollar a day.
Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
2. Achieve universal primary education
Ensure that all boys and girl complete a full course of primary schooling.
Increased enrollment must be accompanied by efforts to ensure that all children remain in school and receive a high-quality education.
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015.
4. Reduce child mortality
Reduce the mortality rate among children under five by two-thirds.
5. Improve maternal health
Reduce by three-quarters the maternal mortality ratio
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs; reverse loss of environmental resources.
Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.
8. Develop a global partnership for development
Develop further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory.
Address the least developed countriesâ€™ special needs. This includes tariff- and quota-free access for their exports; enhanced debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries; cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous official development assistance for countries committed to poverty reduction.
In cooperation with the developing countries, develop decent and productive work for youth.
In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.
I see that there are about 500 events scheduled in many locations around the world on October 16 and 17. You can search for a location near you at the Stand Against Poverty website at www.standagainstpoverty.org/en/events.
Your call to action is to find an event near you and participate in a stand up and speak out in favor of the Millennium Development Goals.