The Millennium Development Goals and Human Rights: Bridging the Divide
The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals remain the most prominent global initiative to address poverty around the world. Drawn from the Millennium Declaration adopted 10 years ago by all United Nations member states, the goals set forth a comprehensive strategy for improving the social and economic conditions of the world’s most impoverished citizens. With only five years left to reach the targets, heads of state gathering in New York this month will find that progress has been uneven, and is leaving out some of the poorest and most marginalized.
On September 14, the Managing Global Insecurity Project at Brookings hosted a conversation on the Millennium Development Goals and their relationship with human rights, featuring remarks by Salil Shetty, secretary general of Amnesty International. He was joined by Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and Professor Lawrence Gostin of Georgetown University to discuss what role international human rights law can play in helping to address uneven progress toward meeting the goals for the world’s poor. The panelists also considered how the United States and other governments can address this issue.
Senior Fellow Ted Piccone, deputy director of Foreign Policy at Brookings, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, speakers took audience questions.
“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.