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MADRE Partners Testify on Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals

Posted on: Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Keywords: UN, MDG, Indigenous Rights, Economic Justice, Environmental Justice

c.NCaruso, MADREYesterday was the last day of a two-day series of "informal interactive hearings" of the UN General Assembly in anticipation of the September summit on the progress of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs were set in September 2000 as targets for UN member states and development institutions to reach by the year 2015 addressing issues from maternal health to eradicating poverty. These hearings are a chance for non-governmental and civil society organizations to present on the work they are doing to reach the MDGs “highlighting best practices and lessons learnt”. It is also an opportunity to make recommendations to governments on how to move forward on the implementation of the MDGs for 2015.

The president of the General Assembly established a task force of 13 representatives from civil society to advise him on the content and participants of these hearings. Beginning in late March, the task force narrowed over 760 speaker nominations to a participant list of 52 speakers.  Of those, four are longtime MADRE allies.

These hearings are an effort to facilitate discussion in order to galvanize further work towards the MDGs.  The idea behind the cross-cutting themes of the hearings is to demonstrate the interconnected nature of the MDGs. The hearings allow civil society to provide concrete evidence of their work to achieve the MDGs.            

MADRE partners and allies are represented in three of the four sessions:  

Tarcila Rivera Zea, of Peru, spoke at the hearings as a respondent on the work of the Foro Internacional de Mujeres Indígenas (International Indigenous Women’s Forum (FIMI/IIWF), a MADRE sister organization, addressing the issue of: Sustaining development and withstanding crises. She argued that Indigenous Peoples must be included in the evaluation of progress towards achieving the MDGs.

Sizani Ngubane, of South Africa spoke during the same session on the work of the Rural Women’s Movement (RWM), also a MADRE sister organization. She noted that the achievement of Goals 1-6 depends on explicitly addressing the basic security of socially marginalized people.

MADRE ally, Charlotte Bunch of WEDO spoke addressed the topic: Building a better tomorrow: local actions, national strategies and global structures. Speaking on behalf of the GEAR Coalition, she suggested that a UN entity for the advancement of women’s rights be established before the September summit, remembering the importance of the gender component of the MDGs.

Addressing the topic of Equal and inclusive partnerships: Accountability in the fight against poverty, Martha Sanchez Nestor spoke on the work of Alianza de Mujeres Indigenas de Centroamerica y Mexico. She argued that the situation of Indigenous women must be considered in order to achieve the goals of the MDGs.

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