It’s day four of active meetings at the UN about development, decreasing poverty and the progress on Millennium Development Goals. It also means, by default, day four of handshaking, speech-making, traffic gridlock and sky-high hotel rates in Manhattan – all to advance the high-level commitments by world leaders to improve lives of the poorest people around the world. Experts love to spout acronyms and aid-speak, but in essence, the global community is meeting for a status update on development and poverty reduction. World leaders made commitments in 2000 on specific benchmarks to decrease poverty by 2015, and now the U.N. is getting its report card on its progress and making new commitments.
This international collaboration and commitment is important to tackle poverty strategically, but I find myself eager to get back to CRS headquarters on Monday. It’s my colleagues’ work on the ground, putting all of the commitments by world leaders into practice that really gives me hope for better lives for the poor.
Today Raj Shah of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) talked about using technology to improve cassava harvests in East Africa – my CRS colleagues have been working to improve cassava harvests with the Great Lakes Cassava Initiative.
President Obama brought up the importance of peace in the Middle East during his speech to the general assembly – CRS continues to support peacebuilding around the world, including in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
And sitting in a room filled with bloggers for new media outlets and non-profits doing amazing work around the world gives me a more tangible hope for the future than putting my faith in the powerful individuals meeting down the street. I’m grateful to Mashable, the UN Foundation, and the 92nd Street Y for sponsoring this event and giving digital journalists the inside scoop on the latest in international development. I’m even more grateful, though, for the aid workers, community leaders, and young people around the world who will do the daily work to decrease poverty and make success by 2015 a real possibility.
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