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June 23 and 24 2005 the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Guyana, in collaboration with the Government and the Private Sector Commission (PSC) will be hosting the Caribbean Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Business Initiative 2005 at the Le Meridien Pegasus, in Georgetown, Guyana. This event is a unique attempt to bring together a wide range of actors, particularly business communities of Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados and Haiti, to share knowledge and experience of how the private sector can support sustainable human development (the achievement of the MDGs) while maintaining a profit orientation. The event will also focus on the role of partnerships in this regard.
The event will include participants from individual businesses and business associations at the local, regional and global levels; government representatives from Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados and Haiti; civil society representatives from Guyana and the region; and representatives from the United Nations agencies at the local, regional and global levels. The event will be highly interactive, engaging participants in various small group deliberations.
The eight MDGs are a set of time-bound and measurable goals agreed upon by all 189 UN member states at the United Nations Millennium Summit, which was held in September 2000 at the UN Headquarters in New York. The MDGs are:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger2. Achieve universal primary education3. Promote gender equality and empower women4. Reduce child mortality5. Improve maternal health6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases7. Ensure environmental sustainability8. Develop a global partnership for development
Working towards the accomplishment of the MDGs is an enormous undertaking that is too great for governments alone to manage in individual countries.
However, with commitments and the involvement of the private sector, civil society, the UN and the international donor community, the chances of achieving these goals by 2015 are much greater. The Caribbean MDG Business Initiative 2005 focuses specifically on the role of the private sector.