Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations (ACOUN) - Millennium Development Goals

July 1, 2010: United Nations Human Rights: "Claiming the MDG's: a human rights approach.'

Thoraya Obaid, the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), spoke on the importance and relevance of human rights in achieving the MDG's. The main theme of the address was the importance of creating and maintaining a human rights perspective on achieving the MDG's.

The MDG declaration echoes the UN�s declaration of human rights, which highlights just how essential addressing human rights are to achieving the MDG's. A false dilemma has been created that development must triumph at the cost of human rights; on the contrary, development and human rights actually go hand-in-hand. In the face of the recent global financial crisis that has undermined the goals, strengthening this union is even more important. The issue at hand therefore, is the demand for an alliance between rights and individual MDGs.

Thoraya Obaid provided examples, focusing on women's rights, as to how fundamentally an individual MDG and a human rights issue are linked. The health of women and mothers is an issue of equity, which is fundamental to women�s empowerment and gender equality. She stressed the importance of addressing gender, culture, human rights, and reproductive health for progress. The "culture of human rights' needs to be engrained in families, communities, and faith communities since change cannot be imposed from the outside, it must come from within individuals and communities.