Tamara Kovacs for THE NEW YORK TIMES
Tuesday September 23
At an impromptu press conference with The New York Times today, the UN ECOSOC committee happily shared reflections on its amendments to the Millennium Development Goals, revealing a group of deeply concerned, innovative and well-versed delegates who are committed to ending poverty.
The second day of discussion was spent on child mortality, education, and extreme poverty. The Brazilian delegate said that, “in the end, it all comes down to poverty…it’s a difficult topic to discuss but we’re all agreeing on it.”
The Indian delegate showed passion when speaking oof an end to poverty, calling for goals to be sustainable as well as development-focused. “All of these issues are interlinked, so the solutions must also be interlinked.”
The committee is following the SMART principles on its goals – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
When asked about concerns that the goals may begin to apply to the United States, the delegate for the US reaffirmed that the US is committed to ending poverty, both within its borders and without.
Given the rising poverty in the US, the delegate cited security concerns as well. “The problem of poverty will also fuel uncertainty, insecurity, which could become a threat to the world as a whole,” the US delegate commented. “Terrorism could even emerge. We’re committed to ending poverty as an obligation to humanity.”
While there was particular concern that the new Millennium Development Goals were not as emotive in their imagery as before, the committee clarified that they feel the time is past for appeals to emotion.
The Indian delegation stated succinctly, “it is easy to visualize, but are these statistics are appropriate for this or do we need to answer the real problems? We keep aiming to cut poverty from one year to the next, but what is the real situation? That’s why we are widening and broadening these goals.”
The delegate for South Africa summed up the end-game of the committee: “It’s more than just a vision, it’s about acting on these goals and creating a generation of citizens who are responsible, and who know that this is not just something you can aim for and can take ownership of the issues.”