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My Commitment to the MDGs Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Rehana, Canada Oct 16, 2006
Peace & Conflict , Health   Opinions


I was born and raised in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, a country with a population of 36 million and a GDP per capita of approximately US$220, ranking it among the lowest in the world. I witnessed the physical manifestations of living under one dollar a day and observed first hand the devastating effects of hunger and poverty on millions of people.
I felt helpless and distressed about the condition of so many people, but I also felt hopeful that the world would “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women, and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are currently subjected.”
To this end, Goal #1 of the Millennium Declaration is a cornerstone in eradicating global poverty and hunger. This firm commitment by the international community is an ambitious agenda, one that requires civil society members and Canadian citizens like myself, to help promote the success of these goals in any which way, shape, or form.
My participation in model United Nations conferences prompted me to create a new committee for the Canadian International Model United Nations Conference in 2005. It was called the 2005 Millennium Summit and provided Canadian youth with an opportunity for discourse on the MDGs.
In preparation for the committee, I conducted in-depth research which included contacting someone who helped negotiate the MDGs themselves, Dr. Michael Doyle who was assistant Secretary-General and special advisor to Kofi Annan from 2001-2003. Through my work, I began to understand that while meeting the MDGs requires the political commitment and political will of governments, most of the work around the MDGs is actually taking place at the country level with activities including civil society dialogues and local and national campaigns. This means that we, as Canadian citizens, have an important function to fulfill in advocating the implementation of the MDGs by monitoring commitments, putting pressure on donor governments and international institutions, and by participating in campaigns and solidarity activities.
By raising awareness and facilitating discourse on the MDGs, emailing my MLA, as well as joining the Make Poverty History campaign, I feel hopeful that I am in some way contributing to the goal of achieving the MDGs by 2015. My Make Poverty History wristband is a daily reminder that I must do my share to place the MDGs at the heart of the global agenda. As Desmond Tutu said, “if everyone who wants to see an end to poverty,
hunger and suffering speaks out, then the noise will be deafening and politicians will have to listen.” I hope that we, as Canadians, will be a part of the noise that serves as the momentum in achieving these goals.



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