On September 21, 2011 in New York, USAID and UK Development Agency Department for International Develoment (DFID) co-hosted"MDG Countdown 2011: Celebrating Success and Innovation" an event that is the first of its kind, bringing together development leaders from across the globe to share their successful ideas and collaborate with others working on fulfilling the MDGs. Each attending leader reported spectacular success stories of how they have brought their nation closer to the targets of the MDGs, describing innovative methods of fighting poverty, educating girls and improving public health. "MDG Coutdown 2011" also proved to foster a sense of collaboration and coordination with discussionson how roadblocks in development were tackled and how hundreds of years of wrong habits were righted. At the event, there was a general theme of educating and empowering women, with UK Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell making the education of girls the cornerstone of his address. Mr. Mitchell in a post on USAID.gov discussed how educated women can help in addressing many of the other MDGs and can grow to foster sustainable economic growth for the country. Also taking the podium were world renowned humanitarians Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson and The Elders Michelle Bachelet who provided insights into the remarkable steps that have already been taken to improve lives and change the shape of the world.
Representatives from Brazil, Gambia, Zambia, Peru, Ethiopia, Nepal, Vietnam and the GAVI Alliance all spoke on the outstanding success of their current projects as well as future plans that will help to fullfill the MDGs. These programs proved to be revolutionary in their regions, and their results equally outstanding. Overall, the purpose of this event was to bring light to the fact that the deadline for the MDGs is fast approaching and the time for effective action has arrived.
I strongly feel that such events, going forward would prove tremendously useful to spread innovative ideas among development leaders in the hopes of fulliflling the MDGs successfully. The time for discourse and planning has passed, it now time to act and effect change.