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Best Practices voor een duurzame toekomst
23 juni 2007

Pact of Schokland is attempt to speed up Millennium Goals

In the year 2000 the international community agreed to combat poverty by striving for eight specific Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the year 2015. On June 30 we are halfway, but with the present efforts and finances the aims will not be met. With a sweeping event, the Dutch government and campaigning organisations hope to get more public support. Companies, organisations and private persons are asked to sign contracts in which they promise to deliver time, money and assets to speed up the achievement of the MDGs, which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education.
The Pact of Schokland derives from the Project 2015, one of the ten plans of the new Dutch government that have been subject of a nationwide discussion. Minister Koenders, who is responsible for Project 2015, has consulted some 350 representatives of companies, organisations, churches, unions and knowledge institutes in preparation for signing the Pact of Schokland.
The choice for Schokland as the location for a new impulse for the MDGs is not coincidental. Centuries ago Schokland used to be a peninsula. The sea slowly swallowed the land, until Schokland became a tiny island. The inhabitants, a fishing community, refused to abandon their island until they were forced to evacuate by a royal decree in 1859. About a century later, the Dutch reclaimed the land by creating the North East Polder. Now Schokland, a small strip of old land surrounded by vast new land, is a symbol for the struggle against water, poverty and illness.
Co-organiser of the event is the newly launched campaign EEN (One), Dutch part of the international campaign against poverty GCAP, with icons like Bono and Bob Geldof. International symbol for the struggle against poverty is the white wristband EEN is an initiative of several Dutch development organisations to attract the participation of the general public in achieving the MDGs. The event in Schokland on June 30 is a runner-up for the international World Poverty Day on October 17.

P+ webtip 1: Pact of Schokland (DUTCH)

P+ webtip 2: GCAP