A thousand days until what?



The last ‘1000 day observation’ that really stands out in my memory is the countdown to the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa. Even though 1000 days translated to almost 3 years everyone was incredibly excited – special countdown screens were placed at all the airports and we all watched the number go down. Today marks a different kind of 1000 day mark – until the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In the year 2000 the world came together to envision a better world for millions of people. The vision they came up with is known as the Millennium Declaration, and as part of that some specific targets were set, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Not many people really know what the MDGs are, and even fewer know about the Declaration itself.

The daunting names have probably played a part in that (I hope you have not stopped reading this yet!).

The thing is that while the names and terminology may seem cumbersome, strange or even bureaucratic, I have yet to talk to a person who doesn’t agree with the dream of a better world. A world where more children go to school, where women and their babies are healthy and deaths from preventable diseases don’t claim the lives of our loved ones.

For UNICEF and its partners it has been especially important to ensure that the well-being of children remained centre-stage as this dream, this vision, started being implemented by countries around the world. Especially the children who are usually the last to be reached by social programmes or vital services. And while the global development ‘road’ has been neither straight nor smooth it is important to look at what has been achieved and to absorb what it really means.

To do this UNICEF has developed a great website, which tells the story of the story of the Millennium vision; the story of UNICEF and its partners’ work; and the story of realising a dream for millions of children.

I urge you to visit the site and to think about the facts and statistics that are mentioned there – each and every single one represents a life that has been saved, a life that has been improved.


And while you’re there – don’t forget to share. You can post to your Facebook or Twitter account; become digital champion for UNICEF; and add your views to the vision for the world beyond 2015.

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