Caritas voices against poverty No.5

By Joseph Donnelly, Caritas Internationalis Permanent Delegate to the UN in New York

Still managing Millennium Development Goals moments: UN hearings echo NGO voices

Another UN meeting, not a conference but Hearings.
Member States unseated in General Assembly Hall to make room for Civil Society.
NGOs, Private Sector and CSOs “sharing the floor” side by side with government representatives.
Half the year preparing Hearings.
Ten years into the 21st Century reaching this moment now.
From predictable rhetoric to flights from all corners of the earth.
Comes down to this: Saving lives.

Beyond the necessary even useful economic, social science critiques.
Matter of life and death!
Matter of saving every life possible everywhere.
Matter of innocent people escaping scandals of local & global poverty.
Matter of good people gone hungry over and over and over again.
Matter of thousands adding into millions of lives.
Matter at hand: one billion people left behind – one billion!

UN Civil Society Hearings in NYC at General Assembly with 192 Member States.
Fifty-two women and men from every walk of life and local circumstance.
Building a better tomorrow – local actions, national strategies, global structures.
Equal and inclusive partnerships – mutual accountability in fight against poverty.
Food Security – seeds to sustainability, farmers food for all – or no food at all.
Undernourishment and under utilized small scale farming.
Food feeding more in Brazil now, in Malawi now – it can be achieved.

Life and death choices, day by day, country by country.
Identifying opportunities alongside nothing new status-quo obstacles.
Food crisis matched by financial crisis, fueling the other crises.
Right to Food, Right to Education, decent employment, shelter, equality.
Which family plot of land, which village, town, city, state, country, region, continent?
Sustainable development, regional integration, aid for trade, business, honest investment.
Less corruption, basic human rights protected, respected, successes, failures, instability.

“It’s very expensive to be poor…”
If you are hungry you can’t work for peace…
One-fourth of the world young people eager to live without fear, have life before death.
Born poor…live poor…marry poor…work poor…sick poor…die poor.
Effective healthcare, universal access to AIDS treatment, medicines without discrimination.
Minorities, indigenous, isolated, vulnerable peoples spending lives struggling to survive.
Many make it. Many do not. Some live longer. Young and not so old, many die daily.

MDGs matter – part of global call to urgent actions, to deeper, more effective development.
Human Rights matter – born equal with inalienable rights of simply being human, belonging.
Brilliance, technology, entrepreneurial zeal to create, succeed, acquire wealth, walk away.
Economic development open to all – women, men, urban, rural, educating for peace & life.
Recognizing ordinary, simple, honest “dreams” feeding natural hopes to live not die.
Who has the necessary resources? Who monitors mechanisms? Who talks transparently?
Whose life is it anyway? Whose land? Whose choices – recognized, ignored, respected?

What matters now – is what’s next tomorrow, tomorrow long before five years from now.
What matters now – it is possible to achieve the MDGs with realistic accountabilities.
What matters now – is driving hard after the implementation options, partnerships.
It is possible – to expand the interactive intentional “dialogue” to keep the promises.
It is possible – to achieve 0.7% to finance aid/development effectiveness, reform systems.
It is possible – to reduce the agony, eradicate extreme poverty, empower human beings.
Manage moment of truth together: MDGs don’t save lives; people save lives, prevent deaths.

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Filed under Advocacy, Development, MDG

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