Ban Selects Anti-Poverty 'Superheroes' as MDG Champions

Muhammad Yunus is among the chosen personalities that will serve on the MDG Advocacy Group. Photo by: America.gov / CC BY-SA 2.0 America.govCC BY-SA 2.0

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has come up with what he called “a real collection of superheroes in defeating poverty,” who will help achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

The eminent individuals, chosen to serve on the MDG Advocacy Group, come from various sectors of society and will focus on specific goals. They are expected to help build political will and mobilize worldwide action toward the eight MDGs before the September summit in New York.

The group will be co-chaired by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who will host the first meeting of the group next month in Madrid.

The advocacy body includes Nobel laureates, Muhammad Yunus and Wangari Maathai, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, philanthropists Bill Gates and Ted Turner, U.N. special adviser on MDGs Jeffrey Sachs, U.N. envoy for malaria Ray Chambers, Qatar first lady Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser, former Mozambican first lady Graça Machel, former General Assembly president Jan Eliasson, U.N. special adviser on innovative financing for development Philippe Douste-Blazy, Børnefonden (the Children’s Fund) Chairman Stine Bosse, World Tourism Organization Chairman Dho Young-Shin, former Mexican Health Minister Julio Frenk, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa Vice President Akin Adesina, and Japan Business Federation Chairman Hiromasa Yonekura.

Other distinguished personalities from China, India and the U.K. will be added to the list soon, Ban announced.

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    Chiden Balmes

    Chiden, a correspondent based in Seoul, focuses on computer-assisted reporting to provide international development professionals with practical business and career information. He also contributes to the Development Newswire and the Global Development Briefing, two of the world's highest-circulation development publications.