United Nations Millennium Campaign officially launches 'STAND UP and TAKE ACTION 2010'

Top Quote Launch of UN Millennium Campaign and partner's website www.noiseagainstpoverty.org beginning the countdown to the Stand Up and Take Action campaign from 17-19 September 2010 on the eve of the MDG Review Summit at the UN Headquarters in New York from 20-22 September. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) August 26, 2010 - United Nations Millennium Campaign in partnership with Oxfam India, Save the Children, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan and One World South Asia, launched the India campaign of the global peoples' mobilization movement "STAND UP and TAKE ACTION 2010" at the India Habitat Centre in the capital today. Present at the occasion were Mr. Pronab Sen, Principal Adviser, Planning Commission, Ms. Nisha Agarwal, CEO, Oxfam India, Mr. Amitabh Behar, Convener, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, Mr. Thomas Chandy, CEO, Save the Children, and Mr. Minar Pimple, Regional Director, Asia and the Pacific, UN Millennium Campaign.

    This was followed by a report launch by Wada Na Todo Abhiyan. The report, entitled 'A response to the India Country Report on the Millennium Development Goals', consists of views by various experts who have been engaged with specific thematic issues related to the MDGs, in an effort to engage constructively with the Government on the issues.

    Based on this year's campaign theme, 'MAKE A NOISE, the website - www.noiseagainstpoverty.org was launched, which includes an online petition in support of the Millennium Development Goals. Incorporating the sounds of various musical instruments, the petition is an opportunity for all stakeholders to raise their voice in support of the MDGs.

    Dr. Pronab Sen, Principal Adviser, Planning Commission, said: "I am very glad that this campaign is happening because ultimately, to be able to give substance to voice, is very important. The people outside, the political system, the beauracracy, should understand that the voices which have not so far had a chance to express themselves are NOW doing so. The media could have, but have not yet done much. With this campaign, if we can integrate the media, it will be very critical for the progress."

    Mr. Thomas Chandy, CEO, Save the Children, said: "The moment has come for India to act and, act decisively. Are we going to consign the unacceptably high rates of child mortality to our country's past, or will we allow the deaths of nearly 2 million children every year to become an indelible stain,"

    Ms. Nisha Agrawal, CEO, Oxfam India, said: "Ten years after the signing of the Millennium Declaration, India appears to be seriously off-track on a number of MDGs including those on hunger, infant mortality, maternal mortality, and women's empowerment. Urgent action will be required in the next five years--with a detailed action plan right down to the district level --on how to accelerate the implementation of policies and programs that can help to get India back on track."

    Amitabh Behar, Convenor, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, said: " It is deeply saddening to see that in spite our good performance on the economic front, where we have maintained 8-10% growth rate in spite of the global melt-down, we are still struggling to save our new-borns and mothers which is indicated in the very high infant and maternal mortality rate. It is urgent that we sift through the macro aggregate statistics and focus on the poor performing states like Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhatisgarh, Bihar and U.P., where on MDGs our performance is even worse than Sub-Saharan Africa. It's time that the Govt. Civil-Society and other actors demonstrate serious political will to achieve the MDGs and ensure life with dignity for all citizens of this country."
    Mr. Minar Pimple, Regional Director, Asia Pacific, United Nations Millennium Campaign, said: "We believe that the MDGs are achievable if there is political will at all levels of government. While there are many policies and programmes in place for achievement of the MDGs, delivery systems need to be strengthened to ensure that all people, irrespective of caste, creed, gender, have access to basic quality services. It is essential that these goals are localized to national, State and local levels to make them more relevant and accessible to the people. We also believe that citizens, who are the primary beneficiaries of any government programme, should be the primary stakeholders in monitoring delivery on the ground."


    Breakthrough Action plans: We expect the Government of India to actively participate the MDG Review Summit with clear MDG Breakthrough Action Plans. These "Breakthrough Plans" should include approaches for scaling up and sustaining successful strategies and approaches, explore innovative approaches to reaching the targets and design appropriate, relevant and specific strategies and interventions based on specific needs and circumstances.

    Localising the MDGS: MDGs must be mainstreamed and integrated into national and regional development plans; capacities of local authorities must be enhanced to prioritise MDGs and increase access to information and engagement between citizens and local authorities

    Accountability: These plans must incorporate a strong focus on addressing accountability on the issue of MDGs for all. We should have a clear message and plan for holding National and local government to this commitment and we should articulate this loudly and often. Citizens will be monitoring their governments and holding them accountable for their commitments over the next five years.

    Inequality: The MDGs are for everybody. We will not accept inequality in any area be it gender, spatial, ethnic (including the rights of Scheduled Tribes, Nomadic Tribes, minorities and Dalits) or in relation to persons with disability.

    MDGs Are Achievable: Much progress has been made in the last decade and most MDGs are still achievable, as long as policies and implementation mechanisms that are accountable to the poor are in place. In states and region where governments have done the right thing, success has followed. If this expands and continues there is no reason why these successes cannot be repeated over the next five years.

    2010 is not the beginning of a "new and uncertain" voyage towards the MDGS: Rather, it is the "refueling' point on a voyage that has been ongoing for ten years - more than long enough to have seen that the MDGs work. The next five years are the final leg on that journey, what is needed is not a new set of plans, but implementation of clear plans to reach the originally agreed destination by 2015, building on the learning's of the first decade.

    Power of the People: Citizens, as primary beneficiaries, must have a voice in tracking and monitoring the delivery systems and ensuring that they receive their entitlements under the various government programmes.

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