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PRESIDENT of the 64th Session
United Nations General Assembly

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At the Informal Interactive Hearings with Non-Governmental Organizations And the Private Sector

New York, 14 June 2010

Distinguished Representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations, Civil Society and the Private Sector,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are gathered here today for two days of informal interactive hearings on achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The hearings bring together non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and the private sector in an informal exchange with Member States and observers, and will provide an important input to the High-Level Plenary Meeting in September on the Millennium Development Goals.

I am pleased to see representatives of so many civil society and private sector organizations here today and I warmly welcome you all to New York. From all regions of the world, you bring with you unique experiences and insights about realizing the Millennium Development Goals. I am pleased that we have organizations here today who give voice to the particular concerns of women, indigenous groups, farmers, workers’ unions, young people, people affected by HIV/ AIDS, the business community and many others.

2010 is a critical year on our way to realizing the Millennium Development Goals. Less than 1660 days remain to achieving the goals of fighting extreme poverty, hunger and disease and for promoting gender equality, education, environmental sustainability and building a global partnership for development. The MDGs are achievable, but much more must and can be done in the countdown to 2015 to meet the promise of the Millennium Declaration. The voices of those most affected by the Millennium Development Goals need to be heard if we are to meet that promise. Your vision for achieving the Millennium Development Goals has the power to inspire. With that vision, we can discuss case studies highlighting best practices and lessons learnt, and suggest action-oriented strategies for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

I encourage Member States and non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and the private sector alike to use this unique opportunity to seek a common understanding of the challenges facing us and to provide recommendations for the way forward in the countdown to 2015.

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