18 May 2005 With this year being the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, the world body is staging its first documentary film festival in New York this weekend to review how its field offices and agencies, in response to decisions by Member States, have empowered the poor, healed the sick and brought justice to the exploited.
“Secretary-General (Kofi) Annan has seized the opportunity the UN’s 60th anniversary provides to review the work of the Organization and to focus on how we can do things better,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Shashi Tharoor said.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), elaborated in a Declaration adopted at a UN summit in 2000 to reduce or eliminate a host of socio-economic ills, “serve as an excellent list of priorities about issues that we consider at the heart of our work,” he added.
The documentaries at the special event at the New School University show how the UN works with people around the world to make the MDG’s a reality, Mr. Tharoor said, and how real people work with the UN to achieve the goals, one village at a time.
The UN collaborated with Media Communications Association-International (MCA-I) in making the call for entries dealing with the MDGs and was delighted to get 80 films, the organizers said.
The 30 finalists were selected by a committee of UN officials, MCA-I representatives and New School University professors on the basis of topical relevance, artistic merit and productions values.
Awards will go to winners of two categories: Best Stories from the Field Short – those shorter than 40 minutes, and Best Stories from the Field Feature – those longer than 40 minutes, the UN said.