World leaders recently met at the United Nations to discuss the state of progress on the efforts to implement goals set for 2015 (the Millennium Development Goals) to reduce poverty and disease. As a contribution to those discussions, UNICEF released its “Narrowing the Gaps to Meet the Goals” study. The landmark document advocates that major gains in child and maternal health can be best achieved by focusing programs and resources on the very poorest women and children in the poorest countries. Reaching the poorest of the poor not only is the right thing to do, it is the most effective way to save the lives of millions of vulnerable children and their mothers by 2015.
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The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely accepted human rights treaty in history. To date, 193 nations have ratified this important treaty. The only two UN member states that have not ratified the CRC are Somalia and the United States.
Fiscal Year 2011 begins on October 1, but funding for the full year will not be set until they reconvene. So the final decisions on appropriations for foreign affairs and international development, including the U.S. Government’s contribution to UNICEF, await their return.
Yesterday President Obama addressed the UN summit on Millennium Development Goals and announced a new US global development policy that forges stronger ties between foreign aid and national security.
Martin Rendón is the Vice President for Public Policy & Advocacy at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
At a time of tight budgeting in Washington, supporters of global child survival are challenged to find sources to fund efforts to save children from dying of causes we can prevent. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF has joined with defense analysts, other child survival advocates, and a growing number of religious leaders to support the Global Security Priorities Resolution. This bipartisan Congressional resolution, H. Res. 278, calls for reductions in nuclear arms, with savings applied to global child survival and child hunger programs.
Through negotiations to reduce nuclear arsenals, savings of as much as $13 billion annually could be relocated in the budget to dismantle and secure nuclear weapons. Because our nation believes in helping children worldwide, and because poverty and neglect create fertile recruiting for terrorists, the resolution also targets some of the savings to fund child health and nutrition programs.
|Logos of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace (left) and the Lutheran World Federation. Both institutions endorsed the concept of using savings from nuclear arms reduction to meet the needs of children!|
World religious leaders see the need to set new global priorities that transfer resources from nuclear weapons to meeting the basic needs of children. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Lutheran World Federation are among the groups that are calling for support for the global priorities initiative.
The Global Security Priorities Resolution has secured the number of cosponsors it needs to be considered by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. U.S. Fund for UNICEF President and CEO Caryl M. Stern has written to Committee Chairman Howard L. Berman (D-CA) to encourage him to schedule a vote on H. Res. 278 before Congress adjourns.
Please join us in asking your Representative to cosponsor the Global Security Priorities Resolution and to urge Chairman Berman to schedule it for a vote by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. With your help, our Representatives in Washington can make getting to Zero a foreign policy priority!
UNICEF Senior Child Protection Specialist Francesca Moneti told Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), the Commission’s chair, that child marriage affects millions of girls in all regions of the world, especially in South Asia and in Africa. In Bangladesh and in five western central African countries, six of every 10 girls are married before the age of 18.