Keeping the Promise

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Last Thursday, the United Nations Millennium Campaign wrapped up a busy week of events in Washington, D.C. by hosting a strategy session with members of the international development community. Speakers included: Salil Shetty, Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign; Peter Yeo, Executive Director of the Better World Campaign; Lindsey Coates, Vice President for External Relations at InterAction; and Mark Brinkmoeller, Senior Director of U.S. Community Partnerships at ONE.

The discussion centered on the progress of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and plans for the UN 2010 MDG Summit in September. Many of the participants chimed in to share what their organizations are doing in support of the MDGs this year with an eye toward the review summit in New York. This is an extremely important year for the MDGs, which will be a focus of the G8 and G20 meetings this summer in Canada. MFAN in particular is interested in exploring how the MDGs fit in to the broader foreign assistance reform landscape. The U.S. is working to improve foreign assistance, and, as Peter Yeo said, this fact can be made into a compelling narrative, but it is up to the community to help write that narrative.

The business community has also been convening to discuss how the private sector can help achieve the MDGs by 2015. The Business Civic Leadership Center, the 501c3 affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, co-sponsored an event on April 8th with the United Nations Office for Partnerships to discuss the future of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Attendees of the event debated the best way to frame the progress made around the MDGS in light of how much more needs to be done to reach the goals. Do you think we need to scale back expectations regarding the MDGs in order to reach the 2015 target or forge ahead full force, both in terms of financial resources/support and timeline?

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