Invitation: Panel Discussion on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)You are invited to a panel discussion on the progress made on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the lessons learned for MDGs beyond 2015.

When: 3 October 2012, 17.30-19.00
Where: Residence Palace, 155 rue de la Loi, 1040 Brussels

Views on the topic will be presented by the following panellists:

Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator of Rio+20 (will arrive at 18.15)
Antonio Vigilante, Director of UN/UNDP Office in Brussels
Peter Moors, Director General of Belgian Development Cooperation
Leo Williams, Beyond 2015 International Coordinator

The presentations by the panellists will be followed by a debate, moderated by Gie Goris, Chief Editor of MO* Magazine.

Language of the event: While the presentations will be given in English, we welcome questions both in English and French.

Registration: send an e-mail to [email protected] by 1 October 2012

The event is organised by the UN in Brussels, Association pour les Nations Unies (APNU), Vereniging voor de Verenigde Naties (VVN) and the Millenium Film Festival, with the support of the International Press Centre (IPC).

Background information

On 20 September 2012, Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, urged a stronger global partnership to advance progress on the development targets world leaders had pledged to achieve by 2015, since the 2012 MDG Gap Task Force Report found that significant gains risked slowing due to declining aid.

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), agreed on by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, set specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a ‘Global Partnership for Development’.

In March, Secretary-General reported major progress in achieving the MDGs, with several important targets – on poverty, water, slums and on parity between girls and boys in primary education – having been met.2012 MDG Gap Task Force Report Cover

“But, on the global partnership, progress is weaker,” he told the media briefing on 20 September. Last year, official development assistance declined for the first time in many years. He repeated his call to the international community: “do not place the burden of fiscal austerity on the backs of the poor – either in your own countries or abroad”.

While more efforts are needed to reach the targets set for 2015, the international community is already drawing on the lessons of the MDGs to look beyond 2015 and to agree on what new MDGs should be. NGOs established the “beyond 2015” coalition and are working hard to ensure a much wider participatory process from the start. The Rio+20 Conference proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The high-level panel, recently appointed by the Secretary-General to flesh out the post-Millennium Development Goals agenda, meets at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to set its priorities. So, what should the priorities be for the panel?

Jeffrey Sachs, Director at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and Special Adviser to Ban Ki-moon on the MDGs, suggests creating four big pillars: ending extreme poverty, social inclusion, environmental sustainability and good governance.

This conference will discuss:
– the steps required to reach the MDGs by 2015 and lessons learned for improving them;
– the processes required to better define the MDGs beyond 2015 and early indications on their content.

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