Global Poverty, the MDGs, and the Upcoming UN Meeting

August 30, 2005

On September 14, world leaders will gather in New York for the 60th General Assembly of the United Nations. Among the most significant items on the UN’s agenda is a five-year review of the 2000 Millennium Declaration, the historic commitment to ending global poverty by 2015 that established the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). While progress lags on the MDGs in most parts of the world, it is important to recognize the value of the Goals in focusing world attention on the problems they address and on highlighting programs that are succeeding. The New York meeting had been viewed as an opportunity for the world leaders gathered at the UN to reaffirm the Goals and recommit to mobilizing resources toward meeting them. While support remains strong for the MDGs among most UN member nations, the Bush Administration in recent weeks has urged the UN to abandon them, and is likely to use the great influence of the U.S. vote to try to dilute the Goals. (Click here to read Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold’s response to the Bush Administration’s actions).

The Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican Communion strongly support the Millennium Development Goals. The Episcopal Church General Convention endorsed the MDGs at its most recent General Convention, and the Anglican Consultative Council recently did the same, building on principles established by the Lambeth Conference of Bishops in 1998.

In order to stimulate discussion and action on the MDGs, we are including several MDG resources for parish use in the coming weeks around the UN General Assembly:

  1. Informational materials on the MDGs recently produced by Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD). (Click here).