The UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, the Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, today thanked Progressio supporters for their commitment to tackling global poverty ahead of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) review summit in New York next week.
At a formal hand-in of Progressio’s MDG petition, backed by hundreds of Progressio members and campaigners, the Secretary of State said he would do all he could to make the summit a success.
As he accepted a giant postcard containing the names of those who had urged the UK Government to “play its role in keeping promises made to halve global poverty by 2015 as part of the Millennium Development Goals”, Mr Mitchell said:
“The MDGs are not an abstract concept for millions and millions of people around our world who are counting on us next week – the whole of the international community in New York – to really drive forward the priorities, over the next five years to 2015.
“It is enormously encouraging to all of us who are going that we go with the support of Progressio – and all your supporters – and we will do all we can to make the summit a success.”
As part of the hand-in, Mr Mitchell spoke with long-time Progressio campaigner James Trewby, who told him:
“I became a supporter of Progressio due to my faith and my experience of living and working in a Filipino slum with the Salesians of Don Bosco. I think faith-based organisations can play an important role in fighting poverty at this tough economic time.
“I share your belief that we have a moral duty to … tell the story in the UK about why tackling poverty is the number one priority. Please do all you can to get the MDGs back on track.”
Progressio’s International Programmes Director, James Whitehead, also spoke with the Secretary of State. He said: “When you go to New York next week, please be encouraged that you’ll go with the high hopes and expectations of Progressio supporters but also of the communities with whom we work. For them the MDGs are a human reality.”
The hand-in took place at the Department for International Development’s headquarters in London.
Photo: James Whitehead (left) and James Trewby (centre) present the giant postcard to Andrew Mitchell MP (photo © Layton Thompson/Progressio)