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Secretary-General's MDG Advocay Group

Secretary General's MDG Advocacy Group


MDG Advocate Quarterly Update
March 2013

(This summary covers the period October – February 2013)

Highlights of MDG Advocate collaborative work

MDG Advocates launch 1 Million Community Health Workers at Davos

The 1 Million Community Health Workers Campaign, which aims to train, equip and deploy one million health care workers by the end of 2015 to reach millions of underserved people in sub-Saharan Africa, was launched by MDG Advocate Jeffrey Sachs, and co-Chair President Paul Kagame, during an event at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January. The campaign will work with governments and aid agencies to finance and train community health workers, and was officially endorsed by the African Union at the opening of its 20th session in January.  

Educate a Child initiative in Qatar by MDG Advocate

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Education Cluster Lead of the MDG Advocates, launched a global initiative to deliver quality primary education to millions of children across the world. The Educate a Child (EAC) initiative partners with the world’s most expert organisations and people, including other MDG Advocates, to bring high quality learning to 61 million children with no access to formal schooling. Launched in Doha, Qatar at the World Innovation Summit for Education in November 2012, the initiative plans to invest $152.6 million in 17 countries over the next three to seven years.

As of January 2013, EAC supported more than 25 projects including: providing schooling for refugee and internally displaced children; encouraging learning for girls; promoting new solutions for nomadic or pastoralist children whose mobile lives can make attending school difficult; helping children in disaster-prone areas; and providing school supplies for children in Syria. The initiative has reached more than 470,000 out-of-school children in Bangladesh, Chad, Côte D’Ivoire, India, Iraq, Kenya, South Sudan, State of Palestine, and Sudan.

MDG Advocates implement Innovative Finance in Africa

Philippe Douste-Blazy has been working closely with the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) to implement an airline and financial transaction tax, which Mozambique most recently agreed to implement. Further advocacy continues in the region in collaboration with the chair of ALMA, the President of Mozambique, and Ray Chambers, UN Special Envoy on Malaria and fellow MDG Advocate.

MY World. The UN Global Survey for a Better World promoted by Advocates

Thinking about what comes after the MDGs and the post-2015 development agenda, MDG Advocates, Ted Turner, Jeffrey Sachs, Marina Silva, Stine Bosse, Ambassador Dho Young-shim, Phillip Douste-Blazy, and Julio Frenk promoted the MY World by lending their images and voices to MY World’s Mark A Difference campaign and sharing with their social media followers that they took the survey and asking them to do the same. MY World is a global survey for citizens led by the UN and partners. It aims to capture people's voices, priorities and views, so that global leaders can be informed as they begin the process of defining the new development agenda for the world. Through creative online and offline methods, MY World asks individuals which six of sixteen possible issues they think would make the most difference to their lives. The sixteen issues cover the existing MDGs, plus issues of sustainability, security, governance and transparency.

Highlights from individual MDG Advocate’s Activities and Plans

Julia Gillard was appointed as a Champion of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative in September 2012. She continues to advocate for all children to be able to attend school and receive a quality education, and for the rights of women to be recognized and upheld. In August 2012 Ms Gillard announced a large-scale initiative to help improve the political, economic and social opportunities of Pacific women.

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, in relation to her EAC work, will host a high-level meeting in April 2013 in Doha that will seek to boost progress towards achieving MDG Goal 2 on Achieving Universal Primary Education. The meeting will gather ministers of education from countries facing difficulties to meet the MDGs, along with donors and representatives of civil society groups and international cooperative agencies that may contribute and provide assistance.

Jeffrey Sachs is the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on the MDGs and Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which mobilizes expertise across sectors to tackle development challenges.

Ray Chambers is the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Malaria and in February was appointed as Special Envoy for Financing the Health MDGs.  He continues to engage and mobilize the private sector through his MDG Health Alliance. 

Graça Machel was appointed, by the Secretary-General, to the HLP on the Post-2015 Agenda in July, 2012. She continues to focus on food security and gender equity, specifically as an Advocate for nutrition throughout sub-Saharan Africa, using her stature to engage with senior African leaders in December and January. She also has also played an active role in a campaign against child brides.

Ted Turner, as Chairman of the UN Foundation Board, is engaging in a high-level polio advocacy strategy that will run throughout 2013, inclusive of press outreach, diplomatic engagement and prominent domestic and international advocacy efforts.

Dho Young-shim is an Advocate for education with her “Thank You Small Library Initiative”, which provides educational tools and capacity building globally. Ambassador Dho joined Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser last November to help launch the EAC initiative. She is also working actively to promote Sustainable Tourism in Millennium Villages throughout Africa with Jeffrey Sachs, and co-hosted a conference in January to explore next steps on sustainable tourism in Ethiopia. In her native Republic of Korea, she continues to prioritize sub-Saharan Africa and host conferences with foreign ministers to help bolster foreign aid. Most recently, she is championing a “solidarity” tax on airline tickets.

Muhammad Yunus is an Advocate for social business and mobilizing young people through his “Youth and Yunus” tour. The Nobel laureate in January launched a joint social business venture in Albania and has received numerous accolades for his recent work of installing 1 million solar panel systems in his native Bangladesh.

Bob Geldof, with the ONE campaign, continues to advocate for sub-Saharan Africa with an emphasis on transparency and accountability. ONE hosted a side event on this theme at the High-level Panel (HLP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda meeting held in Monrovia, Liberia in February, with the objective of demonstrating the power of public participation and encouraging HLP members to place openness at the heart of the future global development agenda.

Hiromasa Yonekura is a strong advocate for private sector engagement in MDG achievement. In February he supported the successful launch of “Malaria No More Japan” and continues to innovate on malaria research.

Marina Silva is an Advocate of sustainable development and continues to be a strong voice for indigenous peoples, women and youth in Brazil. In January, she launched a new social movement called “Nueva Politica” – a movement with the aim of creating a political party platform with sustainability at its core.

Philippe Douste-Blazy is an Advocate and pioneer in the field of Innovative Finance. He has been working closely with the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) to implement an airline and financial transaction tax, which Mozambique in January agreed to implement. Further Advocacy continues in the region in collaboration with the chair of ALMA, the President of Mozambique, and Ray Chambers, UN Special Envoy on Malaria and fellow MDG Advocate.

Julio Frenk, is an Advocate for the MDGs focused on health.  He is also Dean of the Harvard School of Public health where he has, in January, in partnership with fellow Advocate Ray Chambers, established “Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe”, a new cross-university initiative to produce, transmit, and translate knowledge to support the control and ultimate eradication of malaria. This initiative represents a partnership and joint commitment with members of the malaria community in both the private and public sectors.

Download the MDG Advocate QuarterlyPDF document in its entirety.

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