May 11, 2010

MGC Announcement: Melbourne, Australia to host sixty-third UN DPI/NGO Conference

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Kiyo Akasaka, and Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith, have jointly announced that the sixty-third United Nations Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organization (DPI/NGO) Conference will be held in Melbourne, Australia, from 30 August to 1 September 2010.

The United Nations DPI/NGO Conference is the premier non-governmental organization event at the United Nations. It will be the first time Australia hosts a United Nations event of this size and only the third time that the DPI/NGO Conference has been held outside of United Nations Headquarters.

Each year this Conference brings together hundreds of non-governmental organization representatives from around the world to focus on a topic of interest related to the work of civil society and non-governmental organizations in collaboration with the United Nations. The 2009 Conference took place in Mexico City and focused on disarmament.

The 2010 Conference will focus on global health as it relates to the Millennium Development Goals, an issue of importance to both the Government of Australia and the non-governmental community.

Health issues are central to the Millennium Development Goals, which have been internationally accepted as the road map for development. Some of the key issues addressed by the Millennium Development Goals include Goal 4, reducing child mortality; Goal 5, improving maternal health; and Goal 6, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

As host city, Melbourne, will showcase many of Australia’s premier medical, neuroscience and biotechnology research institutions. It is one of the great multicultural cities of the world and has always been an important meeting place for events of social, educational and cultural significance.

The Conference will be organized in partnership between the United Nations Department of Public Information, the NGO/DPI Executive Committee and the Government of Australia. A major aim of this year’s Conference is to attract participation from non-governmental organizations from the Pacific island States and other countries in Asia.

In December, an initial planning mission led by Eric Falt, Director of the Outreach Division, United Nations Department of Public Information, and Mary Norton, Chair of the Conference, visited Australia and held consultations with both Government representatives and leading members of the non-governmental community. The team also visited and identified the venue for the Conference.

In January, an Australian Convenor was selected to coordinate non-governmental community efforts in the country in cooperation with the New York-based Co-Chairs of the Conference. He will soon visit New York as the planning process begins in earnest for the late August Conference.

The United Nations DPI/NGO Conference will be a major event in the 2010 United Nations calendar and will occur only weeks prior to the start of the sixty-fifth United Nations General Assembly and an Millennium Development Goals Summit called for the occasion.

For additional information, please contact Deirdre Mullan rsm, Director Mercy Global Concern, representing the Sisters of Mercy

Please note: MGC cannot offer any financial assistance to attend this conference but we can help with passes.

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