MADRID - President Paul Kagame, yesterday in Madrid, Spain, co-chaired the first public meeting of the UN’s Millennium Advocacy Group.
Kagame, one of the lead advocates for the MDGs, has been called upon along with other advocates, to offer practical guidance, build partnerships, as well as mobilize key government actors, civil society and the private sector, in an effort to speed up achievement of the goals.
In his opening remarks, President Kagame highlighted critical elements in achieving the MDGs, pointing out that the solutions to development challenges must be owned and driven locally. He noted the need for developing countries to mobilize their own human and financial resources, and the importance of private sector involvement.
President Kagame further emphasized the need for leadership, accountability and commitment.“Ultimately, success in achieving these ambitious goals is about leadership, accountability at every level, and a relentless commitment to delivery… It is all possible,” Kagame said.“The next five years will be critical for the realization of the MDGs and I am confident that, as a team, this group will succeed in revitalizing the world’s commitment to the MDGs, and chart a practical way forward.”
With only five years left to achieve the set targets, the UN Secretary General’s expectations is that the advocacy group will play a central role in generating the support and political will of governments, to scale up action and speed up delivery of the MDGs.
In his address, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, referred to the MDGs as a “Great global challenge” and urged the advocates to look for “real results for real people.” Other advocates, announced by the UN last month, include Nobel laureate, Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, former Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, CNN’s founder, Ted Turner and Jeffrey Sachs of The Earth Institute and professor at Columbia University.
The advocates, along with about 150 world leaders are scheduled to meet at the UN Summit in New York, this September, to discuss and assess progress on the MDGs.