Press Briefing Via Conference Call on Adapting U.S. Foreign Policy to Meet Global Poverty Goals

World leaders gather in New York for summit on meeting the Millennium Development Goals

Washington, DC (September 17, 2008) — Media Advisory:

What:

On September 25, world leaders will gather at the United Nations for a high-level event convened by the Secretary-General and the President of the UN General Assembly to re-commit to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Since signing on to the MDGs eight years ago, the U.S. has failed to make good on our contribution to the goals, and activists and development experts are seeking a reform of foreign aid to focus more on long-term poverty rather than short term political aims.

Who:

Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University

Moderated by Joanne Carter, Executive Director, RESULTS Educational Fund

When:

Wednesday, September 24, 11:00 am ET by teleconference.

How:

To sign up or for further information, please contact Robyn Shepherd at (202) 783-7100 x120 (cell: (267) 230-7651) or by e-mail at [email protected] On the day of the call, participants will be contacted and placed into the conference. Those who do not RSVP, or who would rather call in, should dial (800) 475-3716 and passcode 2415689. The title of the event is "Millennium Development Goals Media Call."

Why:

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provide a framework for addressing the most critical problems facing the world's poor - hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, sanitation, and water - while promoting gender equity, education, economic inclusion, and environmental sustainability. The UN has recently released a report that finds that the U.S. and other wealthy donor countries lag behind in meeting their commitments to the MDGs. However, U.S. leadership has barely mentioned the goals, and the U.S. foreign aid structure has benefited political allies more than it has those who truly need it in developing countries.

On September 26, the day after the high-level MDG event, the first debate between the presidential candidates will focus on foreign policy and national security. With a new presidency comes a new opportunity to re-commit the U.S. to these globally-agreed upon goals, and ensure that U.S. foreign aid - currently administered through a fragmented and disjointed assembly of different agencies - goes to those who truly need it. Speakers will brief journalists on the extent of the problem of fragmented foreign aid, and the need to re-focus efforts on alleviating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.