Press Releases

    UNIS/INF/79
    30 May 2005

    Senior United Nations Officials to Participate in European Foundation Centre Conference in Budapest

    Millennium Development Goals Progress and United Nations Reform to Be Discussed

    VIENNA, 30 May (UN Information Service) -- Three senior United Nations officials will be participating in the annual conference of the European Foundation Centre (EFC), to be held in Budapest, Hungary, from 4 – 6 June, on the topic: “Foundations for Europe: Making the Union Work for All  Citizens”. Amir Dossal, Executive Director of the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP); Salil Shetty, Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign; and Bruce Jenks, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Resources and Strategic Partnerships of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will be discussing the role of Europe within a wider UN context.

    UNFIP Executive Director Dossal will chair a discussion session on “The UN at 60 – Is it ready to Reform? What is Europe’s Role?”. "Europe has a key role to play in strengthening the United Nations. We are delighted with the recent agreement reached by the European Union (EU) on a substantial increase of the EU’s official development assistance over the next decade. As 75 per cent of the work of the United Nations is focused on economic and social issues - this is precisely the kind of leadership important to the Organization" says Mr. Dossal. UNFIP promotes new UN partnerships and alliances worldwide. Established in March 1998, to serve as the interface between the UN system and the UN Foundation - the public charity responsible for administering Ted Turner's US$1 billion contribution in support of UN causes - UNFIP provides a "one-stop" service for partnership opportunities with the UN family, facilitating the development of strategic initiatives by engaging the private sector, foundations and civil society with the UN to further the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

    The Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign Salil Shetty will act as a panellist at the conference. "2005 is witnessing the largest mobilization of citizens against poverty in over 50 countries across the world.  European foundations have a pivotal role to play in supporting this process and holding governments to account on their commitment to achieve the Millennium Goals,” says Mr. Shetty. The Millennium Campaign was launched in 2002 to encourage citizens around the world in their efforts to hold governments to account for the promises they made at the September 2000 Millennium Summit. Working at both the national and international levels, the Campaign aims to inspire a global movement to achieve the MDGs and eradicate extreme poverty by 2015, by persuading existing organizations, networks, and movements to come together under a single banner to show a unity of purpose and the strength of common determination.

    UNDP Assistant Administrator Bruce Jenks will chair a panel discussion on “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015”. "European foundations have an opportunity to make an essential contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015. In uniting around a common agenda, foundations can help channel attention, resources and political will towards this historic effort to ensure security, development and human rights for all," says Mr. Jenks.

    The conference will be attended by representatives of foundations, the private sector, national governments, the UN, the EU and the World Bank, who will discuss how the European Union works in various areas, in particular the scientific, political, social, cultural and democratic spheres. Looking beyond Europe’s borders, the conference will examine what contributions can be made to civil societies in other parts of the world. 

    All three officials will be available for one-on-one interviews.

    For more information contact:
    Sonja Wintersberger, Associate Information Officer
    United Nations Information Service Vienna
    E-mail: sonja.wintersberger@unvienna.org