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UN, Google and Cisco unveil online resource in the fight to decrease global poverty
Published in Daily News Egypt on 06 - 11 - 2007

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations, Google and Cisco today unveiled a pioneering online site that tracks progress towards decreasing global poverty by 2015, a global campaign known as the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launched the project, called MDG Monitor, and highlighted the urgent need to increase global cooperation. The site is available at www.mdgmonitor.org.
Achieving the goals is a truly global task, requiring governments, international organizations, private companies and civil society to work together, said the secretary general.
"I thank Google and Cisco for helping us create the MDG Monitor - an example of the kind of innovative partnerships we need.
The secretary general was joined by UNDP administrator Kemal Dervis, Cisco Senior Vice President Carlos Dominguez, and Google Chief Technologist for Google Earth and Maps Michael T. Jones in launching the project, a groundbreaking innovation in charting development progress.
MDG Monitor presents the most current data from multiple sources in development bellwethers like public health, education and women's empowerment, laying out areas of progress and continuing challenge for the world to see.
MDG Monitor aspires to keep the global community's eye firmly fixed on the Millennium Goals, and to provide vital information for policy makers and development practitioners worldwide.
On one portion of the site, MDG Monitor allows a web surfer to use Google Earth to fly anywhere on the planet and explore from above, in three dimensions, the places where work is being done to realize the MDGs. Users can access country assessments and data collected by the UN worldwide. MDG Monitor enables more than 300 million Google Earth users to better understand the MDGs and what it will take to achieve them. This information will soon appear as a Global Awareness layer in Google Earth, and is currently available for download on the MDG Monitor website.
"We at Google are honored to join the UNDP in making this valuable data more accessible to the public, said Michael T. Jones of Google.
Cisco, whose approach to corporate citizenship includes applying its business and technological expertise to social issues, provided expert consultancy as well as technical and financial support for MDG Monitor's development. Many of Cisco's corporate social responsibility initiatives are aligned with the MDGs, such as achieving universal primary education through its Global Education Initiatives.
"Cisco believes that the power of technology, along with human ingenuity in deploying it, can effectively address global socio-economic issues and lead to sustainable change. We also understand the critical importance of working in partnership with others to help make the Millennium Development Goals a reality, said Carlos Dominguez, senior vice president of Cisco.
Bontron & Co also chipped in, producing MDG Monitor's logo on a pro-bono basis.
The MDGs, agreed by world leaders from 189 countries in 2000, call for quantified, time-bound progress in eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and developing a global partnership for development.
Although almost eight years have passed since the MDGs were first introduced, today just short of one billion people live on less than one dollar a day, every year six million children die from malnutrition before their fifth birthday, and in deeply impoverished nations less than half of the children are in primary school and fewer than 20 percent go to secondary school.
"By making the world's successes and challenges in human development just a mouse click away, MDG Monitor hopes to rally new resources and help build momentum for achieving a more equitable and sustainable world for all, said Dervis.


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