The Development Goals of the Millennium already form part of the agenda of social debate in Brazil. According to the president of the Ethos Institute, Oded Grajew, this is one of the results of the National Week of Mobilization for Citizenship and Solidarity.
The Institute belongs to the network of social organizations and companies that founded this event to encourage activities to help the country fulfill the eight Goals of the Millennium.
The second edition of the Week was inaugurated, yesterday, August 8, in Belo Horizonte, capital of the Brazilian southeastern state of Minas Gerais, in the presence of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
The 2005 edition offers something new: the Goals of the Millennium Prize. The prize, unprecedented around the world, was suggested by President Lula, according to Grajew.
The idea is to recognize municipal governments, public and private entities, non-governmental organizations, and individuals that carry out projects furthering the attainment of the Goals of the Millennium.
According to Grajew, the government and society have shown interest in fulfilling the goals, but more effort is needed.
“We expect there to be a greater engagement on the part of society and that the municipalities will incorporate these goals in their policies,” affirmed the president of the Ethos Institute.
To help out, the Institute has produced materials for the orientation of companies interested in contributing to the goals. The prize should be awarded in December in the Planalto Palace, Brazil’s presidential office, according to the Executive Office of the Presidency.
Grajew said that the federal government and organizations from civil society are preparing Brazilian Goals, that is, goals intended to eliminate problems that are part of the country’s reality, such as social inequality and the treatment of Indians.
The document will have a deadline and an implementation timetable, similar to the Goals of the Millennium. Grajew expects the country goals to be ready by the end of this year.
The eight Development Goals of the Millennium were endorsed by 191 countries at a meeting in New York in September, 2000.
The goals, which are meant to be achieved by 2015, include: the elimination of hunger and extreme poverty; quality basic education for all; gender equality and protection of women’s rights; reduction of infant mortality; improved health care for pregnant women; actions to combat AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; environmental sustainability; and a global partnership for development.