The madness continues…


I was very glad to have been given the opportunity to participate in an international event, giving focus and attention to the HIV Aids pandemic. The particular emphasis in this case being on children…. Who, after all, are the future generations. These conferences are important in all kinds of ways…especially as they help to keep the agenda on the table. I have met people who have been working directly on the issue for over twenty years…and am deeply impressed by their commitment and dedication. Until there is a vaccine and cure for the HI virus, then the situation is not going away….And that day is not yet imminent. So much is going on in the world right now…the madness continues…All I’m trying to do is to respond to my own sensibility, so that I don’t feel completely overwhelmed by it that I don’t respond with a sense of complete “impotence”. Here are the 8 Millennium Development goals that we’re so very far away from achieving in the next six and a half years…

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day. Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people. Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.

2. Achieve universal primary education
Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.

3. Promote gender equality and empower women
Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015.

4. Reduce child mortality
Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate.

5. Improve maternal health
Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio. Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health.

6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS. Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it. Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.

7. Ensure environmental sustainability
Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss. Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation (for more information see the entry on water supply). By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum-dwellers.

8. Develop a global partnership for development
Develop further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory. Includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction—nationally and internationally. Address the special needs of the least developed countries. This includes tariff and quota free access for their exports; enhanced programme of debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries; and cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous official development assistance for countries committed to poverty reduction. Address the special needs of landlocked and small island developing States. Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term. In cooperation with developing countries, develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth. In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries. In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications.