In the year 2000 the United Nations addressed the continuing problems of poverty and underdevelopment by agreeing on The Millennium Development Goals. Here they are in short:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

2. Achieve universal primary education

3. Promote gender equality and empower women

4. Reduce child mortality

5. Improve maternal health

6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

7. Ensure environmental sustainability

8. Develop a global partnership for development

The big question, of course, is how? A new book, Families and the The Millennium Development Goals, puts the family front and centre of this programme. It speaks of “family capital” and the need to free and empower families to better meet their own needs.

The book shows how this can be and has been done. It was written in part by representatives of family organizations represented at the United Nations, and sponsored by the Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development, a member of the Qatar Foundation, founded by Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser in 2005.

In the book her Highness says: “There is an urgent need for a mentality that sees the family as part of the solution rather than part of the problem … [not] an impediment to social progress and development, but rather as the driving force behind it.”

It’s all in the video. Have a look.

Thanks to Vincenzina Santoro, who represents the American Family Association of New York at the UN (and who appears towards the end of the video), for this information.

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet