Press Releases

                                                                            25 August 2004

    Annual DPI/NGO Conference to Focus on Millennium Development Goals; 8-10 September

    NEW YORK, 24 August (UN Department of Public Information) -- Civil society activists from around the world are preparing to mobilize broader public support for a major United Nations initiative, the Millennium Development Goals. The Fifty-seventh Annual Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), entitled Millennium Development Goals: Civil Society Takes Action, will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 8 to 10 September.  Organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) in partnership with the NGO/DPI Executive Committee, the Conference is the premier NGO event held at the United Nations each year.

    “This Conference aims to raise public awareness and support for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the 3,000 NGOs working directly with the UN Secretariat” says Shashi Tharoor, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, “The involvement of civil society partners in the MDG campaign is essential to its success.”

    At the Millennium Summit in 2000, 189 Member States adopted a declaration that synthesized the priorities of the international agenda and reflected the commitments that had been painstakingly negotiated during the previous decade of world conferences. The Millennium Declaration and the eight goals it identified, have become a road map for tackling poverty, instability, HIV/AIDS, gender inequality and violence in virtually all parts of the world.

    The Conference provides the opportunity for non-governmental organizations to assess the current status of the Millennium Development Goals, address the obstacles that threaten their realization, share innovative approaches to partnerships and learn of the civil society campaigns that are most effective in stimulating broader public awareness and support for sustainable and replicable North-South programmes.

    In addition to five plenary panels and 30 Midday NGO Interactive Workshops, the Conference will feature speakers such as Eveline Herfkens, Executive Coordinator, United Nations Millennium Development Goals Campaign; Jeffrey Sachs, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals; Mark Malloch Brown, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); Kavita Ramdas, President of the Global Fund for Women; Jacques Attali, Founder and President of PlaNet Finance; Ryokichi Hirono, Senior Adviser of the Japan Council on the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development; and Bineta Diop, Founder and Executive Director of Femmes Africa Solidarité, among others.

    Over 2,000 NGO representatives associated with DPI and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) from 90 countries around the world are expected to attend the Conference, which will bring together United Nations officials, government representatives, Millennium Development Goals Campaign activists, media representatives, academics and, most importantly, experts on the front lines where the urgent need for the implementation of the Goals is most clearly felt.

    Several innovative features will be a part of this year’s Conference, including an interactive web site where NGO representatives and interested citizens around the world will be able to view the plenary sessions live. The interactive web site is at: in English, French and Spanish; enhanced youth participation through daily youth bulletins; 30 Midday NGO Interactive Workshops that focus on MDG projects and programmes and present best practices on cutting-edge MDG activities; enhanced networking sessions throughout the Conference so that participants have opportunities to form partnerships on MDG programmes and initiatives; and a public hearing on 10 September, where Conference participants will interact with expert respondents on key concerns highlighted in the NGO networking sessions and the Midday NGO Interactive Workshops.

    The Conference marks an important step in United Nations-civil society consultations leading up to the Millennium Summit+5 review in September 2005 and beyond. These changes create more opportunities for Conference participants to voice their ideas and to network before, during and after the Conference. The Conference draws on the many efforts of United Nations and civil society players’ who have sought to define, implement and monitor the Millennium Development Goals.

    The NGO Section of DPI can provide media representatives with relevant materials from the Conference, such as biographies of the speakers, texts of their presentations (when available), and the programme of Midday NGO Interactive Workshops. The NGO Section can also arrange for interviews with speakers.

    Media representatives are welcome to attend the Conference and will have access to speakers on request.  UNTV will cover both the opening and closing sessions of the conference. To obtain a live feed or tape, please call UNTV at (212) 963-7650. Updates are available at our web site:

    and at the Conference interactive web site:

    Media Accreditation

    Interested journalists who are not already accredited with the United Nations should submit a request as soon as possible to the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (fax: 212 963-4642) accompanied by a letter of assignment on official letterhead of a media organization and signed by a publisher, assignment editor or Bureau Chief. The letter should specify the name of the journalist seeking accreditation. The status of the request may be checked on by calling (212) 963-5934 or 963-7164.

    Once approved, a UN grounds pass can be obtained by presenting two forms of photo identification at the Pass and ID Office, located at the corner of 45th Street and First Avenue, New York.  Pass office hours are:  Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed between the hours of 12:45 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.), and Fridays 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.  For further information regarding United Nations accreditation only, please call (212) 963-6934, -6936 or -6937.

    For information on plenary panels and interviews please contact: Tala Dowlatshahi, DPI/NGO Section, (212) 963-1859,

    For information on NGO Interactive Midday Workshops, please contact:  Elisabeth Shuman, tel.:  (646)366-7454, e-mail:

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