• Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development

Sunday, July 6, 2008

British PM and Pope Share Correspondence on MDG Commitment

In a letter released today, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown addresses Pope Benedict XVI on issues of development.  He notes, "As things stand today, we are not on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.  We are falling short on the commitments we made back in 2000."  I commend the Prime Minister for his honesty and for his desire to see through the commitment that his country (and many others) made in 2000.  Brown's fear is that the MDGs will "slide down the political agenda" and that "the opportunity to deliver on our promises to the developing world will be lost for another generation."  What a travesty that would be.  Now that we have the technology and the infrastructure to achieve the goals, we cannot let the moment pass because we lack the political will.  How can we sit back and allow millions to starve unnecessarily?  

His Holiness, in a response delivered by his Secretary of State, refers to the Pope's prior request for a "courageous effort to 'globalize the expectations of solidarity.'"  Indeed, a sense of solidarity that transcends national or ethnic boundaries is essential if we are to accomplish these goals.  Every human being is of infinite value, regardless of where they live or the circumstances of their lives.  The Pope also points to the need for a "deeply-felt and responsible sense of generosity."  Indeed!

How wonderful to see such a high level correspondence between two world leaders on such an important subject.  Hopefully, their efforts will go beyond words or political posturing and form the heart of their efforts to transform our world.  We can only hope that their work will help to mobilize the millions of people around our world who have the power to make a difference - if only they have the will.

Read the article in "Scoop" here.

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