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United Nations High-Level Meeting on Africa's Development Needs,
High-Level Event on the Millennium Development Goals,
and other related events

UN Headquarters, New York | 22-25 September 2008
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Thu 25 Sep - MDGs
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World Leaders Discuss Millennium Development Goals

The High-Level Event on the Millennium Development Goals took place at the United Nations headquarters on Thursday. In the morning, heads of state and government gathered in the General Assembly for the opening session, followed by parallel roundtables on poverty, health and the environment. The roundtables resumed in the afternoon, followed by the closing plenary session. Participants attended high-level partnership events throughout the day to discuss related issues, including: the eradication of malaria; education; gender equality; maternal and child health; and the launch of the Irish Hunger Commission Report.

Above: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, flanked by Bono and Jeffrey Sachs, during the launch of the Irish Hunger Commission Report.

Thursday, 25 September
Roundtable on Poverty and Hunger

Bingu wa Mutharika, President of Malawi, and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain, co-chaired the roundtable on MDG 1.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Philippines, noted that gains made to alleviate poverty and hunger in the Philippines are under threat because of rising food and fuel prices.

Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey, said achieving the MDGs will ensure a more peaceful, stable and fulfilling tomorrow.
Roundtable on Education and Health

The roundtable on education and health was co-chaired by Sheikh Naser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmaad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of Kuwait, and Danilo Türk, President of Slovenia.
Roundtable on Environmental Sustainability

Han Seung-Soo, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, co-chaired the roundtable.

Panelists Christopher Flavin, Worldwatch Institute, and Sheila Dikshit, Mayor of Delhi, India.
"In My Name" Launch

Kumi Naidoo, Global Call to Action Against Poverty, drew attention to the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, taking place 17-19 October 2008.

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, lamented that politicians can find billions for arms and financial bailouts but not for poverty reduction., Angélique Kidjo and performed their new song "In My Name."

Some of the launch participants: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,, Ela Bhatt, Angelique Kidjo, Jeffrey Sachs, Kumi Naidoo, Kristin Davis, Elle Macpherson.
Global Malaria Action Plan Launch

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed participants.

Bill Gates, Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the UK, and Jakaya Kikwete, President of Tanzania, during the panel.

Robert Zoellick, World Bank, announced a US$1.1 billion contribution to fight malaria in Africa.

Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, emphasized that the distribution of anti-mosquito bed nets must be accompanied by educational programmes.

Margaret Chan, World Health Organization, said the 2008 Malaria Report identifies obstacles to the elimination of malaria, including resistance to drugs.
"Class of 2015: Education for All" Launch

Bono pledged to "continue to be a pain in the ass to those who make commitments and don't keep them."

Devli Kumari from India recounted how she escaped child labor and became a student.

Audience members during the launch.
Climate Change and the Achievement of the MDGs

Participants in an afternoon event heard presentations by IPCC author Cynthia Rosenzweig (at right) and IPCC Chairman R.K. Pachauri (third from right). Prime Minister David Thompson of Barbados (third from left), Foreign Trade and Development Minister Paavo Väyrynen of Finland (second from left), Minister for Foreign Affairs Laure Olga Gondjout of Gabon (second from right) and special advisor Jeffrey Sachs (at left) shared additional country experiences and viewpoints, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made closing remarks.
Closing Plenary

Participants during the closing plenary.

Under-Secretary-General Sha Zukang, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, at the closing plenary.

Related Links

Official Website for the High-level Meeting on Africa's Development Needs
Official Website for the Millennium Development Goals High-level Event

Related IISD RS Coverage

1st Inter-ministerial Conference on Health and Environment in Africa, 26-29 August 2008, Libreville, Gabon
12th African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, 7-12 June 2008, Johannesburg, South Africa
Other coverage of Africa regional meetings

Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news.
AFRICASD-L - Africa Sustainable Development policy news and announcement Listserve.
MEA Bulletin - Newsletter on key MEAs and their secretariats.
CLIMATE-L - News and information on the actions of international organizations in responding to the problem of global climate change.


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