Millenium Goals: Ban Ki-Moon Calls our Hero Malala Yousafzai
The United Nations on April 5th called for accelerated action in the next 1,000 days from governments, international organizations and civil society groups to reach the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their deadline at the end of 2015.
“The MDGs are the most successful global anti-poverty push in history,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said from Madrid, where later he formally kicked off the campaign tagged “MDG Momentum – 1,000 Days of Action.”
“The Goals have helped set global and national priorities, mobilize action, and achieve remarkable results,” he added.
The eight time-bound MDGs address poverty and hunger, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, combating AIDS, malaria and other diseases, environmental sustainability and a global partnership for development.
According to UN figures, since the MDGs were adopted by all UN Member States in 2000, global extreme poverty rate has been cut in half and two billion more people have gained access to safe drinking water.
In addition, according to those figures, maternal and child mortality have dropped. The world continues to fight killer diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS. Plus, a record number of children are in primary school, with the number of girls equalling the boys for the first time.
Given the importance of education in the MDGs, Mr. Ban chose to speak by Skype with Malala Yousufzai, who was shot in the head and neck for opposing Pakistani Taliban restrictions on female education in the Swat area of Pakistan.
Ms. Yousufzai told Mr. Ban that she is in good health and wants to use education “to achieve peace and happiness”.
The Editor chose Malala Yousafzai as one of CFI.co’s Heroes after she was targeted by the Taliban.