United Nations discusses goals at 68th anniversary lecture

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The year was 2000, the beginning of the millennium, and with the start of the next thousand years the United Nations set forth their goals to improve the lives of people around the world.

Now, just over 800 days are left before the year 2015 ends and the goals of the United Nations to be completed.

"These eight goals that were set forth we've seen a lot of development in them," said Stephen Sobhani, Director, Private Sector Engagement for the United Nations Foundation.

The goals were to reduce poverty and hunger by half around the world, achieve universal primary education, empower women and promote equality between women and men, reduce under-five mortality by two-thirds, reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters, reverse the spread of diseases, especially HIV/AIDS and Malaria, ensure environmental sustainability and create a global partnership for development with targets for aid trade and debt relief.

"The two that have been under performing the most have been related to children's health and women's health respectfully," Sobhani said. "The top three causes of death globally aren't HIV or Malaria for children. It's diarrhea, it's demonia and breath asphyxiation. We're losing more kids in the first five years of life. And in the first minute of life, then we are over the first ten years of life."

The United Nations estimates that more than 6-million kids are dying annually around the world.

Sobhani said one of the most troubling things he sees facing the United Nations is getting clean water to more people around the world.

"We can deliver HIV/AIDS medication to 9-million every single year, a fantastic accomplishment," Sobhani said. "We can actually get a pill to the poorest of the poor in parts of Africa, but if they're taking the pill with dirty water what's the accomplishment?"

There are some real problems just over the horizon for the United Nations, and all of us.

"With world population expected to increase by 1 billion by 2030, bringing the total population to 8 billion," Sobhani said. "We're going to need 50 per cent more food, 45 per cent more energy, and 30 per cent more water will be required to sustain the world's population."

Meeting those challenges won't be an easy task.

"Despite the fact that we're saving lives in many different sections and in many different geographies, 1-in-8 people are still hungry. They're going to be hungry every single day," Sobhani said. "But the Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, has also prioritized to zero out hunger by the end of his tenure."

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