16 February 2010 Global health will be the focus of this year’s annual United Nations conference with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the head of the UN’s Department of Public Information (DPI) announced today.
Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, issued a joint statement with the Australian Government in which he said the UN DPI/NGO conference – now in its 63rd year – will be held in Melbourne from 30 August to 1 September.
Mr. Akasaka said the conference would examine global health as it relates to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the set of social and economic targets which world leaders agreed in 2000 to try to reach by 2015. Those goals include reducing child mortality, boosting maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Hundreds of NGOs and civil society groups are expected to participate in the conference, which has only been held outside of UN Headquarters on two occasions. Last year’s event was staged in Mexico City and focused on the theme of disarmament.
Mr. Akasaka said one of the main aims of this year’s conference is to attract participation from NGOs across the Pacific island region and from countries in Asia.