I am in good company here in New York – more than 80 national leaders have flown in to participate in a special UN meeting on poverty reduction taking place tomorrow.
Why are they here?
Millennium Development Goals. And because with just 7 years to go, things are seriously off track. So leaders are here to demonstrate they are serious about ending poverty, and to put some much needed steam back into meeting these commitments.
Why are we here?
Because more than a million of you have pledged your commitment to our campaigning on health and education for all, and these are some of the goals that are still way off track.
And of course we’re here to make sure our leaders take this seriously!
Tomorrow we are going to get things off to a lively start. I am getting up at 6.30 (not that lively then!) to meet one of our campaign champions, Rahul Bose. Last time I met Rahul we were grappling with a 3 foot pencil and hundreds of kids in Delhi where we launched the For All campaign…. Tomorrow he will be in a star studded line up outside the UN and will be telling the world’s media and the Secretary General of the UN to take action ‘In My Name’.
Some leaders are also getting together before the main event to discuss how to make progress. Today the UK and Dutch governments have already promised to increase support for getting clean water and toilets for all people. And tomorrow others will meet to put new energy into getting more kids into school, preventing malaria, and reducing the number of women dying in childbirth.
Today a woman in Niger still faces a 1 in 7 chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth. Can you imagine that? Lets hope that tomorrow there will be light at the end of the tunnel for millions more living in poverty. This meeting has to be more than just talk!
Because in 2000 all UN countries made a promise to halve poverty by 2015 when they agreed on the Millennium Development Goals.