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Civil Society in the front of the UN Millennium Development Goals

The "Foundation for the Child and the Family" invited and hosted 22 NGOs and institutions to compose and sign a Declaration for the 8 UN Millennium Development Goals. The Declaration was submitted by the "Foundation for the Child and the Family" to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

The participant NGOs and institutions were: Actionaid Hellas, ASPE, ARSIS, Medecins du Monde, ELEPAP, Greek Council for Refugees, ELPIDA Association of Friends of Children with Cancer, Greek Family Union, Celebral Palsy Greece, Institute of Social Policy, Ιnstitute for Child Heath, MAKE-A-WISH, The Center for Life, Family and Child Care Center, Human Rights Defence Center, Volunteering NGOs Federation, SOS Children Villages, Fair Play, The Smile of the Child, UNICEF. 

In this declaration they express their faith to collective responsibility and their decision to join forces for an integral approach of the 8 UN Millennium Development Goals and for their quickest possible and most successful implementation.

The 8 UN Millennium Development Goals concern the confrontation of poverty, hunger, disease, lack of substantial survival conditions, health facilities and education, environment, and international cooperation for a sustainable development.

The Declaration was presented by Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis  during a special event organized by the Foundation under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The event was also attended and addressed by the Minister of Development, Mr. Dimitris Sioufas, the Minister of Education, Mrs. Marietta Giannakou, the Deputy Minister of Health, Mr. George Konstantopoulos, and the Mayor of Athens, Mrs. Dora Bakoyannis.

The Officer-in-Charge of the NGO Section of ECOSOC, Dr Michele Fedoroff, who came to Athens especially for this event, emphasised in her talk that as a first step towards the achievement of the 8 Millennium Development Goals, the UN will pursue the following, in the decade 2005-2015:

  1. Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day.
  2. Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
  3. Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling.
  4. Eliminate gender disparity at all levels of education.
  5. Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five.
  6. Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio, due to complications in pregnancy or termination in pregnancy.
  7. Reduce by half the HIV carriers.
  8. Reduce by half the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.
  9. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources.
  10. Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
  11. Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.

In conclusion, Dr Michele Fedoroff highlighted the need of adopting politics of supporting and protecting sensitive social groups, the necessity of developed countries offering help to the developing ones as well as the need of international cooperation of NGOs.

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