Monday, May 07, 2007

UN Millennium Goals Update 5-7-07: The Number of Sands in the Hourglass is Finite.

Image: UN Millennium Goals

UN Millennium Goals Update 5-7-07: The Number of Sands in the Hourglass is Finite.

By Richard Power

Life is a oneness.

All living beings are interconnected and interdependent.

Exploring mysteries of how this is so is what makes the human journey worth taking.

But we have forgotten these simple truths, and nature is sick of us (literally).

We have ten years, at the outside, to turn it around.

Ten years. That's how much time we have, according to scientific consensus, in which to make a positive impact in our efforts to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis.

Another vital deadline comes due within that same span of years.

In 2000, 191 nations agreed to the UN Millennium Goals by 2015.

We only have eight years to go in our efforts to achieve that noble intention.

US leadership is essential to both struggles.

Tragically, US leadership has been worse than indifferent or ineffectual since 2000, it has been openly hostle on global warming and deceiving and disingenuous concerning the UN Millennium Goals.

Meanwhile, across the planet those with eyes to see and ears to hear toil for the salvation of the human race -- not through religion or political ideology, but through conscience and common sense.

The number of sands in the hourglass is finite.

Life will go on, at least for awhile, if the human race misses these two deadlines. But it will be so much less than it could be or should be. Whole species will perish, whole eco-systems will vanish.

Many millions of humans will suffer and die. And some of those that do will be among those who, at this moment, think that the worst of oppression, extreme poverty and ecological collapse will not touch their own lives directly.

Here are four news stories that highlight the planetary pursuit of the UN Millennum Goals.

They include studies from Australia and Tanzania, showing how little has been done to raise awareness and engage the populaces of nations on both sides of the development divide.

They also include evidence of the ways in which at least two nations, both with vivid memories and direct experience of oppression, extreme poverty and ecological collapse, Ireland and Bolivia, are rising to meet the challenge:

A World Vision study, supported by an Australian business alliance including the ANZ Bank and Visy Industries, warns poverty in neighbouring countries will make some businesses less viable.
It says while companies were generally supportive of social investment, few were combating poverty in their closest export markets.
It also found that big businesses were ignorant of the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals that aim to halve world poverty by 2015.
Australian Broadcasting Company, 4-30-07

While the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a ‘‘bright idea'', the ‘‘hidden agenda'' of western countries makes it impossible for African states like Tanzania to achieve the goals, expounds actor Rashid Mkwinda.
He is one of the people whose thoughts IPS canvassed in the streets of Dar es Salaam in a series of random interviews about the MDGs. For him, Southern Africa's ability to achieve the MDGs is firmly connected to the superpowers' international policy approach to developing states. ... Apart from Mkwinda, most of the people IPS interviewed know little about the eight MDGs which range from halving poverty (by 2015) to addressing unequal global relations.
Street vendor John Kasumuni denies that Tanzanians do not follow what is happening globally but admits that ‘‘most of us know very little'' about the MDGs. ... A cursory glance at the MDGs confirms that Tanzania will have difficulty achieving them. Goal six on halting and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria is far off for Tanzania.
Inter Press Service, 4-23-07

[Irish] Minister of State, Conor Lenihan ... announced funding of €26 million to support efforts for all children to have access to primary education by 2015 – the target date set under the UN's Millennium Development Goals. Increased financing is urgently required to ensure that the 77 million children currently out of school- including 44 million girls – complete their primary education by 2015. Announcing the commitment, Minister Lenihan said:
"We know from our own experience the importance of sustained investment in education and how it translates into long-term economic and social progress.
Education is a core priority for Irish Aid. In 2006, we spent over €50 million on education. This increased financing is a further indication of our commitment to education and keeping our promises under the Millennium Development Goals to educate all the world's children by 2015."
Relief Web, 5-2-07

Special UN rapporteur on the Right to Food Jean Ziegler stated on Friday that Bolivia is an example of country where social transformations favors equally everyone.
After almost a week in La Paz to analyze advances in this aspect, the expert told Prensa Latina that health and education programs, supported by Cuba, are an example of the change President Evo Morales leads.
Free medical services, a Zero Malnutrition program and the national campaign to teach 1.2 million people to read and write work toward the UN Millennium Goals, from which other governments are still far away, said the rapporteur.
According to the official, the international community must learn from democracy in Bolivia, including the nationalization of hydrocarbons, "an exemplary decision."
Prensa Latina, 5-4-07

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Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: For more information, go to

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