Luckily the weather was fine in London on Saturday night – I was at the Thames Festival (pictured left our stall with volunteers Mya and Sonal who were collecting signatures on Sunday) getting signatures for UNICEF UK's petition to Nick Clegg on the Millennium Development Goals.
You might have heard of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) a series of goals set by the UN in 2000. There are 8 goals to be achieved by 2015;
• Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty
• Achieve universal primary education
• Promote gender equality and empower women
• Reduce child mortality
• Improve maternal health
• Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases
• Ensure environmental sustainability
• Develop a Global Partnership for Development
On 20th of September world leaders are attending a review meeting in New York to discuss the progression of the MDGs and accelerate progress towards achieving the goals by 2015.
At the moment, we're not on target to meet the goals. For example approximately 1.5 million children still die every year due to preventable illnesses caused by poor sanitation or lack of clean water and 280,000 children under 15 die of AIDS related illnesses.
UNICEF UK’s petition is going to Nick Clegg as the UK's representative at the meeting next week to ask him to;
• increase funding for safe water and toilets for those who have been left behind and persuade other governments to do the same
• prioritise the rights of girls and other disadvantaged groups of children living in the least developed countries in his speech and in the agenda for action on the UN goals in order to secure the greatest progress
• put in place taxes on the financial sector (the 'Robin Hood Tax') that could raise up to £20 billion a year and for that money to be spent helping the poor at home and abroad and tackling climate change
We had a really successful evening at the Thames Festival, and got a very good reception from the festival-goers. We managed to get a total of over 1,000 signatures and raised awareness of the MDGs and the need to put pressure on world leaders to ensure they up the ante and make sure the goals are met by 2015.
If you haven't already, please sign the e-petition at www.tagd.org.uk/takeaction before it closes on 19th September.