Please write your comments on this article posted by Christine Williams on the discussion furom last year.
Looking at the websites and watching the two videos on the millennium goals has been very inspiring and touching to make me want to help others and participate in the UN Millennium Development Goals. It is a lot different to look upon these goals in the beginning of the course compared to right now at the end of the course. I feel I am more passionate about the community and helping the community in any of its needs. As for the 8 goals developed by the UN, I believe that some of the goals will be achieved by 2015 and some goals will need to be put to a further date.
All of the following information is based on the websites United Nations Site and the UN Millennium Goals Report 2008. The first goal is to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty. It seems that with oil and food prices increasing this makes it harder for people who don't produce their own food and limits their ability to get food or other goods and services such as health care and education. The increases in food and oil have in fact pushed about 100 million more people into poverty. Full employment is essential to reduce poverty but is still a distant possibility. Children need to stop working at a young age and focus on school. There needs to be an increase in productivity, higher paying jobs, and job security. When it comes to hunger it is just as poverty and is slowly being reached. From 1990 to 2006 undernourished children under 5 has decreased from 33% to 26% but still leaves 140 million. The second goal is to achieve universal primary education. There still needs to be programs and interventions for poor households to end gender inequality. Enrollment ratios have successfully increased 90% in 2006. There needs to be a focus on quality educations where children complete school on time and attend secondary school to reach their full potential. The third goal is to promote gender equality and empower women. Girls need help staying in school which results in needs of better schools. Women are being given more job opportunities but they are still low-paid and unstable. Women are starting to become empowered in politics but there is still a long way to go and it depends on the country as well. The fourth goal is to reduce child mortality. So many children die every day from preventable causes. There has been a large majority of countries that have made minimal progress to reduce child deaths (1990-2006). The major causes of these deaths are pneumonia, malaria, diarrhea, and measles. The good news is 80% of children received measles vaccinations in 2006. The fifth goal is to improve maternal health. Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia still have extremely high percentage for women dying during pregnancy or childbirth. In 2006, skilled health workers in developing countries increased more than half compared to 1990. Contraception needs to be made available and can help decrease young mothers risk to maternal mortality. If contraception is unavailable, women who have the desired family are in risk of unwanted pregnancies, maternal mortality, unaffordable schooling, and unaffordable health care. The sixth goal is to combat HIV/AIDs, malaria, and other diseases. Newly infected people from HIV/AIDs declined from 3 million (1990) to 2.7 million (2007). Awareness needs to be made in all countries including the use of contraception such as condoms. Condom use is increasing. Available treatment helps protect newborns however HIV infections are overpowering the growth of treatment. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets increased from 30 million in 2004 to 95 million in 2007. New malaria treatment medicine is effective but expensive. Prevention programs and access to better drugs can reduce malaria. Tuberculosis is slowly declining but remains the second leading killer after HIV. The seventh goal is to ensure environmental sustainability. Deforestation is decreasing but still too high. Climate change is hurting our environment and causing global warming. However, the Montreal Protocol is going to help protect the ozone and climate change by stopping the use of HCFCs in 10 years from 2007. We missed the 2010 target of reducing biodiversity. The number of species facing extinction is increasing every day. Global fisheries are stabilized but difficult obstacles face the way. It seems like goal to access safe drinking water are on track and succeeding but improvement is still needed in certain parts of the world. Sanitation still needs much improvement. Slums need water facilities and better sanitation. Countries that are in conflict with each other are increasing the poor population which makes it hard to keep up with slum improvements. The eighth goal is to develop a global partnership for development. Aid is rising but only five countries have reached UN target for official aid. Developing countries are receiving greater access to resources and receive tariff reductions. Countries debts are decreasing overtime. Public sectors have lowered prices on drugs but have limited availability so many people have to go to private sectors which costs more. Mobile, telephone, and internet subscriptions and connections are increasing significantly which will help realize goals for education, employment, health, and poverty reduction. World Wide Web is still closed in select countries preventing access to awareness and communication.
It seems as though the economic crisis that has been affecting everyone lately is preventing or slowing down the goals that we want to reach. However, by 2015, I believe that all the 8 goals will definitely have been progressed and somewhere near what the UN is trying to reach. Even if they don't reach all the goals they have still helped so many people along the way and without the goals in the first place, things would probably be way worse compared to 5-10 years ago instead of improving.
The role of the global community organizations in realization of these goals is extremely important. Different communities need to come together from around the world and hear productive ways that have helped them accomplish these goals so that they can collect ideas from each other or combine ideas to have more productive results. "One of the consequences of globalization is the increasing gap between the 'haves' and 'have nots', both within societies and between countries," (p. 30). This is why it is so vital for the 8 goals to be achieved and to eliminate the haves and have nots that are preventing countries from being developed. "Globalization may have some positive effects for some sectors, such as improved health and material standards of living, new meaning and purposes for life and freedom from oppressive traditions, but these changes, combined with negative effects, can be very disruptive if individuals are not supported by community structures that help them negotiate change," (p. 321-322). It is so important that global community structure support their communities and countries to create a better change. They need to realize the positive outcomes of globalization and how they can better serve the individuals in their own community. Leaders should put themselves in the shoes of those in poverty and realize that this needs to change.
My role in the community can start of by supporting different organizations. United Way International is a great way to start. Their goal is to help communities with their caring power in improving their lives and well-being. Just by pledging to stand with the families in New Orleans they will donate $1 for each person who signs up. I think that is wonderful and I posted it on my Facebook to hopefully encourage others to do the same. You can even spread the news by email to your friends through the website. You can also find close volunteer opportunities to help advance the common good of communities. Bread of the World is trying to help eradicate hunger around the world. You can help by writing to congress about the protection of tax credits for poor families and about the importance of child nutrition programs. You can also donate to the organization, become a member, and engage your own church to get involved, engage your community, spread the word, or participate in local events. I signed up to get updates on issues and actions to take on behalf of hungry people that they will send to me in the mail. Unicef seems to focus on similar goals to those of the UN Millennium Goals. You can participate in Unicef by volunteering as a supporter, donating, speaking out and taking active leadership roles in your community and encouraging others, including youth, to do the same. Under the United Nations site I have signed up under Facebook to stand up against poverty and support the UN Millennium Campaign. I hope that others are viewing this as well and wondering what it is about. There are so many connections to Facebook and Twitter to help support the UN Millennium goals. I can also play a role in volunteering in local organizations in the Phoenix area that provide a goal towards a better society, donate to organization with common goals, and telling others to join or to spread the news. I really hoped that different countries around the world will further support the UN Millennium goal and work harder to achieve them, spread the news to the public, create awareness, and provide opportunities that let the public know how they can help.