United Nations Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner was today named an Advocate for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Turner issued the following statement following the announcement:
“We need a long-term plan for humanity and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals offer us an urgent to-do list to address the world’s toughest challenges. Tackling global poverty and disease, protecting the environment, and improving the health of the world’s women and children have to remain at the top of our agenda.
“To advance the MDGs by 2015, we need a smart and coordinated global effort. As an advocate, I am dedicated to doing all I can to make progress on the MDGs. I commend UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his leadership in building partnerships between the public and private sectors that will help us reach these goals.
“Today it is clear that the UN’s Millennium Development Goals are the world’s goals. We cannot stand by while close to 1.4 billion people—about a fifth of the world’s population—live on less than a dollar a day. The good news is we are making progress. Childhood deaths have been reduced from 12.5 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. The increasing usage of technology and mobile devices is creating new pathways for information-sharing and enhancing the delivery of health care and surveillance. Today we are using smarter, cleaner ways to provide energy for the planet. And the number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy increased tenfold from 2003-2008. This progress is encouraging but our work is far from over.
“In just a few months, world leaders will meet in New York for the UN’s MDG Summit. I encourage others to join me – as citizen advocates for the MDGs – to contribute to this fight. Private Philanthropy has got to take on the toughest challenges. Everyone has something to contribute and there are ways that people can dedicate their time, energy or money to help the UN in its work. We can’t do it alone. By working together, we can improve the lives of people around the world.”
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The campaigns we conduct reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation to improve health outcomes. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.
About the MDG Advocacy Group
To galvanize support for the MDGs, the Secretary-General has established an MDG Advocacy Group of eminent personalities who have shown outstanding leadership in promoting the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. This MDG Advocacy Group will support the Secretary-General to promote political will and to mobilize global action to make the MDG Summit a turning point in our collective effort to achieve the MDGs by the 2015 target date. The MDG Advocacy Group will be co-Chaired by President Kagame of Rwanda and Prime Minister Zapatero of Spain.
Amy DiElsi 202-419-3230
Aaron Sherinian 202-778-1622