Students, faculty and staff members at The American University in Dubai (AUD) stood against poverty in the University’s premises, on Sunday, the 18th of October, 2009, as part of the “Stand Up and Take Action” on campus movement, organized by the AUD International Aid Society (AIA), in their advocacy to help end poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations (UN).
Members of the AUD community united with the underprivileged and recited the Stand up against Poverty pledge with organizers from the AIA Society and the event’s official committee members. The pledge upholds the solemn commitment to spare no effort to fight against the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty and inequality, both of which allow the poor to unjustly suffer the consequences of the economic, food and climate crisis, for which they bear no responsibility. It also sustains the achievement of humane, social, and health-related objectives that are essential to the prosperity of the world’s communities. Students and faculty took the oath to act now hoping to realize and exceed the MDGs by the year 2015, alongside members of the AIA Society who elaborated on the goals to the attendees, demonstrated them via banners that lingered in every corner of the venue, and handed out t-shirts illustrating the cause’s primary theme to “Stand Up Against Poverty.”
The MDGs are set by the UN as a roadmap to abolish poverty and its root causes. They were initially supposed to be met by the year 2012, but their attainment has been put on hold until 2015. Comprised of eight goals altogether, the MDGs sustain the following themes: Ending Poverty and Hunger; Achieving Universal Primary Education; Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women; Reducing Child Mortality; Improving Maternal Health; Combating HIV/AIDS and Malaria, among other diseases; Ensuring Environmental Sustainability; and Intensifying the Global Partnership for Humanitarian Development.
Drawing on the significance of the involvement of the AUD community in an act of benevolence with such a humane facet, Sareh Ameri-Mills, President of the AIA Society, comments:
"AIA's mission of poverty alleviation, health and education align nicely with the Millennium Development Goals, so when we heard about the Stand Against Poverty movement, we felt we should host an event here on campus. We hope we can raise awareness about the serious issues the MDGs seek to address."
In regards to how the goals presented in the MDGs comply with the objectives of the AIA of upholding and advocating human welfare, Ghazaleh Nekui Ellis, AIA’s Local Project Manager, asserts:
“AIA's aim is to be an endorsing body of this globally-driven event and to generate awareness amongst the AUD community about extreme poverty and hunger and to make its voice heard throughout the UAE of the Millennium Development Goals and the urgency of taking action at a leadership and governmental level. Moreover, AIA itself is committed to taking action to help those underprivileged in society.”
Most governments worldwide follow the MDGs and provide a progress report annually, which are reviewed by the UN to ensure that such countries are on the right track. According to the event’s official website, in September 2000, 189 world leaders adopted the MDGs as part of the Millennium Declaration agreed to at the UN’s Millennium Summit. A record breaking 116 million people stood up last year and took action to end poverty and help achieve these Goals. Through this movement, people across the globe have set and broken the Guinness World Record for the largest mobilization around a single cause in recorded history.
The AIA continues to advocate for the MDG's as an unprecedented global framework for human welfare that is a crucial step towards eradicating poverty and inequality by the year 2015.
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