Demystifying the millennium development goal processes: AWID's executive Director, Joanna Kerr, explains the key meetings and processes associated with the Millennium Development Goals that will occur in 2005. Originally published in AWID's virtual newsletter, the Resource Net Friday File, no. 213, February 11, 2005.AWID AWID Association for Women's Rights in Development
AWID Association of Women Industrial Designers
AWID Aircraft Weapons Integration Department : 2005 is a critical year for international engagement on women's rights The effort to secure equal rights for women and to remove gender discrimination from laws, institutions, and behavioral patterns.
The women's rights movement began in the nineteenth century with the demand by some women reformers for the right to vote, known as suffrage, and and gender and development issues. The five-year review of the Millennium Development Goals “MDG” redirects here. For other uses, see MDG (disambiguation).
The Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that 192 United Nations member states have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. (MDGs) is one of the key international processes for women to pay attention to this year. Can you explain the different processes involving the MDGs?
The eight MDGs were created at an unprecedented gathering of world leaders For a list of heads of state, see .
World leaders is a MMORPG. The game involves creating a state, joining an alliance and going into war. It is mostly played by players from Israel, China, USA, Britain, Brazil and Saudi-Arabia. in 2000. In September of this year, leaders will meet again at the Millennium Summit The Millennium Summit was a meeting among many world leaders lasting three days from 6 September to 8 September 2000 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of . There is a misconception that the Summit is being held to discuss the MDGs only, but the Summit actually has a three-part agenda: a) to review progress toward fulfilling the Millennium Declaration (which is far more comprehensive than the MDGs); b) to discuss terrorism and security issues; and c) to discuss UN reform. The MDGs are just a small part of the overall agenda of the meeting.
The third Millennium Development Goal is "to promote gender equality and empower women." The indicator for this goal is "the elimination of gender disparity in primary and secondary school education." Many women's organizations This is a list of women's organisations. International
However, despite the inadequacy of this goal, several UN agencies are trying to use the MDGs and the Millennium Summit to advance gender equality. For example, UNIFEM UNIFEM United Nations Development Fund for Women has published the "Pathway to Gender Equality: CEDAW CEDAW Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (United Nations)
CEDAW Component Explosives Damage Assessment Workbook (reference for blast effects software modeling) , Beijing and the MDGs. "The UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs is trying to work within the system to expand the targets and indicators associated with Goal 3. Also, as we speak, the Division for the Advancement of Women is holding an expert group meeting in Azerbaijan on ways and means WAYS AND MEANS. In legislative assemblies there is usually appointed a committee whose duties are to inquire into, and propose to the house, the ways and means to be adopted to raise funds for the use of the government. This body is called the committee of ways and means. of linking the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action with the Millennium Development Goals.
Outside the UN system there is also the Millennium Project, which is headed by Jeffrey Sachs. It has several task forces looking at how to achieve the eight Millennium Goals and one specifically looking at gender equality. This task force, headed by Caren Grown and Geeta Rao Gupta, has put forward important recommendations in its report and expanded Goal 3 to include many targets around gender and property rights, reproductive rights, informal employment, eliminating violence against women, looking at girls' education to ensure that they enter and stay in school, and reducing the work burden of women by addressing infrastructure: transport, sanitation, water and energy.
The Millennium Campaign also is energizing energizing,
adj giving energy to; revitalizing; rejuvenating. people's involvement in understanding and advocating around the MDGs. The Campaign is a UN and civil society collaboration run by people within the UN. One of the key players is Evelyn Herfkins, a former development cooperation minister for the Netherlands. She is working with the Millennium Campaign to persuade governments to increase the levels of their overseas development assistance.
Last but not least, another worldwide initiative is called the Global Call for Action against Poverty (GCAP GCAP Global Call to Action Against Poverty
GCAP Graduate Cost Analysis Program
GCAP Greater Cincinnati Associated Physicians
GCAP Generalized Circuit Analysis Program
GCAP Global Capabilities ), which was just launched at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This Call to Action is an autonomous network of civil society organizations and social movements. Its focus is on trade justice, debt cancellation and increasing levels of overseas development assistance. Our feeling, based on discussions at a meeting of women's organizations organized by UNIFEM, The Millennium Campaign and the Heinrich B611 Foundation in December 2004, is that this campaign provides the best opportunity for women's groups and movements to push for economic justice and women's rights this year because it goes beyond a focus on the MDGs. A small group of women's organizations formed an informal task force and sent a representative to the January planning meeting of the GCAP in the Netherlands. This group is now organizing a "launch party" for GCAP on March 6th at the Beijing+10 meetings in New York ...
AWID: Given all these parallel processes, what would you identify as feminist priorities for 2005?
Governments are currently preoccupied with the Millennium Summit, which happens to be taking place in the same year as Beijing+10, the ten-year review of the Beijing Platform for Action. So we need to ensure that Beijing+10 feeds into the Millennium Summit and that issues of violence against women and reproductive rights are considered by governments. Indeed, there will be many discussions at the Beijing+10 meeting to ensure that the processes are connected.
But the real work needs to be done at the national level. Because governments will be required to say how they are working towards the Millennium Declaration and MDGs, women's groups can lobby their governments on key issues of economic justice and women's rights using whichever of the initiatives they feel is most strategic.
AWID: It has been demonstrated--by the U.S., for example, in its decision to attack Iraq in 2003--that the UN can easily be sidestepped by powerful States. At the same time, the World Bank, IMF IMF
See: International Monetary Fund
See International Monetary Fund (IMF). and WTO See World Trade Organization. have proved more powerful than the UN in terms of economic global governance. Do you think that women's organizations will really benefit from engaging with the UN and UN processes? Is the UN still relevant?
Yes, the UN is still relevant though it does need reforms. But the MDGs are more than a UN process. National governments are very involved in the "MDG MDG Millennium Development Goals (UNDP)
MDG Madagascar (ISO Country code)
MDG Medical Group (USAF)
MDG Air Madagascar (ICAO code) process." The World Bank is just as involved in the MDGs as the UN. Furthermore, the G-8, which consists of the most powerful countries in the world, is making the Goals a big priority. The agenda of the G-8 meeting (to be held in Scotland June 6-8, 2005) is going to focus on Africa, climate change, the establishment of an Africa Commission, and other issues all related to the Millennium Summit. The G-8 will discuss the role of the northern countries in addressing the global economic imbalance. Simultaneously, there are many campaigns to look at unfair trade rules and debt forgiveness. The G-8 discussions should both implicitly and explicitly tackle imbalances between the North and South.
So while many feel that this year has been captured by MDG madness, particularly ten years after Beijing when we could have brought women's rights back to the top of governments' agendas, it is significant that poverty itself is being discussed and hopefully tackled. Given the current international preoccupation with the terrorism and security agenda, some say that the MDGs are almost "revolutionary." The attention around the Millennium Summit and the MDGs might be the most substantial counterforce coun·ter·force
A contrary or opposing force, especially a military force capable of destroying the nuclear armaments of an enemy.
to the war on terror/ security agenda--a Bush agenda that has worked against the rights of women and men globally.
For more information on the MDGs:
Global Call to Action against Poverty The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) is a growing worldwide alliance consisting of national coalitions (or platforms) of campaigns to end poverty.
It has become the most significant global anti-poverty platform to date, claiming to have involved some 38 million : http://www.whiteband.org
The Millennium Development Goals (at the UNDP UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNDP Unión Nacional para la Democracia y el Progreso (National Union for Democracy and Progress) website): http ://www.undp.org/mdg/abcs.html
The Millennium Development Goals: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
The Millennium Project: http://www. unmillenniumproject.org/
Task Force on Education and Gender Equality Report-Taking Action: Achieving gender equality and empowering women: http://www.unmillenniumproject. org/reports/reports2.htm#03
The Millennium Campaign: http://www.milleniumcampaign.org
UNIFEM's "Pathway to Gender: CEDAW, Beijing and the MDGS": http://www.unifem.org/index. php?fpage pid=216"