15 September 2010

Africa: President Jimmy Carter Backs the MDGs with 'Joyful Resolve,' Citing Faith, Strong Results

press release

In remarks broadcast Sunday, September 12, 2010, on the nationally-syndicated Day1 program, the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, called upon the faith community to take action against global hunger by supporting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

"The Millennium Development Goals target poverty, hunger, and disease," President Carter explained, "while encouraging universal primary education and fairness for women and girls."  The MDGs "are backed by global consensus, and have the strong support of all the world's major religious groups."

In his address, "A Joyful Resolve: Transforming the Lives of the World's Poorest," President Carter observed that for persons of Christian faith, "Christ's command that we serve the poor is reason enough to struggle on behalf of those without enough to eat."

President Carter's address was broadcast prior to the major UN MDG Review Summit in New York on September 20-22, 2010 where Heads of State and Government will join leaders from the private sector, foundations, and civil society to commit to an action agenda to achieve the MDGs by 2015. With only five years left until the target date for achieving the MDGs the UN is leading a collective effort to accelerate progress toward the Goals.

"The MDG program is achieving strong results. The effort rests on knowledge we already possess, and relies on proven, effective implementation strategies.  In these ways, the goals represent a sharp break from failed development approaches of the past," Carter said. "I have never been more optimistic about our ability to lift up our brothers and sisters and to change the world at long last. … When…we know we have the tools to make a difference, our obligation to do justice is all the more clear.  We should feel a joyful resolve to press ahead."

The United Nations Millennium Campaign partnered together with the Day1 and The Alliance for Christian Media to advocate for the MDGs, which included addresses by four prominent faith and policy leaders. President Carter's address was the capstone for "Faith and Global Hunger: A Special Day1 Series in Support of the UN Millennium Development Goals." Speakers emphasized Christ's insistence on justice for the least amongst us, and described the power of the UN Millennium Development Goals program to transform the lives of the world's poorest citizens. The 'Day 1' program, a national weekly ecumenical radio program produced by the Alliance for Christian Media and hosted by Peter Wallace is distributed on 200 Day1 affiliate radio stations and is served via www.hunger.Day1.org which presents the entire series together with MDG-related resources. View President Carter's address here: http://www.endpoverty2015.org/en/node/1027.

President Carter, acclaimed internationally for his humanitarian efforts, has been vocal about the importance of his faith and its impetus to serve the poor. A former governor of Georgia, he served as the nation's 39th president from 1977 to 1981.  In 1982, he founded The Carter Center, in Atlanta, to "wage peace, fight disease, and build hope." In 2002, he received the Nobel Peace Prize "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."

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