2015 - the deadline to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is fast approaching. Although there has undoubtedly been measurable success against the development targets, such as the number of people living in extreme poverty in the developing regions reducing from a half to a quarter of the developing world’s population, progress has been severely thwarted by the world economic and food crisis.
The goals, born out of the Millennium Summit of 2000 have been adopted by 192 United Nations member states as a call to action against world poverty. They focus on such issues as reducing extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates and fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS.
According to the recent Millennium Development Goals Report 2009, lead by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, United Nations, the progress needs to move up a gear in order to reach the targets by 2015. Such is the urgency for action the report states that “The MDGs must continue to provide a focus for our efforts, and the vision of a world without poverty must not be lost, even in these difficult times.”
This edition features an article by Matt Williams, Communications officer for EuroHealthNet based in Brussels, which explores the theme of urgency as echoed by the European Commission and the need for business and the private sector to rise to the challenge.
Business in the Community (BITC), the convener of CSR360, invited companies working towards one or more of the MDGs to enter the Coffey International Award category in the Annual Awards for Excellence 2009.
Roger Olds, Managing Director of Coffey International Limited said that “Businesses around the world need to implement concrete initiatives that apply their core business skills and expertise in a transformative and scalable manner that will enhance growth and sustainable wealth creation. I encourage businesses around the world to study the short-listed examples for inspiration and insight. For those that have been successful we congratulate you on your exemplary work and trust that in the years to come your programmes will deliver even greater benefit in addressing the MDGs.”
This leads us to the second two features. The first, a case study on the The Co-operative Group’s incredible International Development strategy who were awarded a Big Tick in this year’s Awards, in recognition of the many benefits that the business has created for some of the world’s disadvantaged communities. The second, is article about the winners of the Example of Excellence, IBM for their application of technical expertise in innovative ways to address the greatest societal challenges of our time.
And finally, a little more light hearted, catch up with David’s adventures with our partners in South America.
I hope you enjoy the issue,
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