What is Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
When 189 Heads of State and government, as representatives of their citizens, signed onto the Millennium Declaration at the 2000 UN Millennium Summit, there was a palpable sense of urgency. Urgency to “free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are currently subjected.”

Here, world leaders from rich and poor countries alike committed themselves–at the highest political level–to a set of eight time-bound targets that, when achieved, will end extreme poverty worldwide by 2015. Goals 1 through 7 commit them to raise the poor out of poverty and hunger, get every child into school, empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, and ensure environmental sustainability. Goal 8 explicitly recognizes that eradicating poverty worldwide can be achieved only through a global partnership for development. This global deal makes clear that it is the primary responsibility of poor countries to ensure greater accountability to citizens and efficient use of resources. But for poor countries to achieve the first seven goals, it is absolutely critical that wealthier countries deliver on their end of the bargain–more and more effective aid, more sustainable debt relief and fairer trade rules–well in advance of 2015.

Goal 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger 
Goal 2. Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3. Promote gender equality and empower women 
Goal 4. Reduce child mortality 
Goal 5. Improve maternal health 
Goal 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases 
Goal 7. Ensure environmental sustainability 
Goal 8. Develop a global partnership for development

What is the International Young Catholic Students doing for the MDGs’ achievements?

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was launched by the United Nations to respond to the social and economic inequality challenges that prevails in the world. Since 2005 MDGs have became the reference framework that should enable the United Nations to assess the social and economic problems and poverty of the various populations in different countries of the world. It is also a mechanism that helps in building global solidarity among people and nations.
This initiative has generated considerable enthusiasm in many organizations that have been engaged in national and international promotion of these eight goals.
The International Young Catholic Students (IYCS) has mobilized also its members and took actions for the MDGs, in the sake of its visions and missions, especially the ₺Preferential Option for the Poor ₺.

What are the actions of IYCS within the MDGs?
On November 11, 2006, IYCS represented by its Secretary General of the time, Mr. Manoj Mathew, signed with the United Nations Millennium Campaign represented by the UN Secretary General’s Executive Coordinator Eveline Hofkens a memorandum of understanding for the promotion of the MDGs, especially in youth and students’ milieu. From this action, IYCS committed not only to promote the MDGs but also and to engage its members in the effective realization of this dream for all societies.

Poverty Eradication: IYCS launched in 2007 a global campaign “Fight poverty, build Peace”, a theme echoed by the Holy Father for the International Day of Peace in 2009. In April/May 2009, training programs on the fight against poverty have been conducted for students in South Africa, Kenya, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

HIV / AIDS and Health:
 IYCS in partnership with Caritas Internationalis has launched and / or supported regional training and awareness building programs in Africa and Asia on sexuality and the prevention of HIV/AIDS for young people: March 2008 in South Korea for South East Asia countries, October 2009 in Thailand for South Asia Countries, May 2009 in Lusaka for Zambia students. Messages for awareness building and mobilization are annually sent to all members when International Day for the fight against AIDS.
Preserving the environment: the whole year 2008 was devoted the fight against global warming and the protection of the environment by IYCS. Since that time a campaign named “VOTE FOR MOTHER EARTH” was launched for all national movements, which used to act on environment day of their country through trees planting (Kenya), cleaning of beach and conferences (Fiji and Australia) 1Hour light off (Philippines), live with the nature (Quebec).  An international meeting was held in the city of Creil (France) in collaboration with the International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS) on sustainable development and environmental protection in December 2008, with students’ representatives of all continents. In 2009, YCS Australia representative joined Australia youth delegation to participate to the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change.
Education for All: IYCS is actively involved in the focal point EFA of UNESCO. In 2010, IYCS participated to an International Consultative meeting organized by the EFA section of UNESCO at Dhaka (Bangladesh). The Campaigns were initiated in Sri Lanka in this regard. IYCS produce resource materials on the right to education for every child. These documents contain testimonies of children to receive education. Today more than EFA, IYCS is engaged in a plea for Quality Education for All (QEFA).
Gender equality and empower women: The access of girls to school has been emphasized and highlighted in its advantage during an awareness building program organized by IYCS in Burkina Faso in 2010 in collaboration with UNESCO (Headquarter and the national commission). Today, IYCS is promoting well in its structures at all levels the leadership of girls.
Global Partnership: Efforts are being made and grassroots movements are encouraged to develop a partnership of solidarity with each other. This began with the partnership between YCS local groups of Belgium and Viet-Nam (with visits in 2006 of Belgium students to Vietnam and 2007 Vietnam Students to Belgium), students of France and Togo (French sent a representative to Togo 2008), YCS Students in Germany has launched and supported a campaign for quality education in Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya (a delegation of seven German students travelled to Kenya in July 2009) and Sudan. Exchanges programs and partnership take place between Spain and Peru. YCS Local group of Italy is helping in building a library in Guinea Conakry for students.

Each year, IYCS produces a Magazine called “CONNEXIONS” where students used to share their views on specific thematic issues. Connexions 2008 was focused on ‘’Environment’’, 2009 was about ‘’Education’’, and 2010 about ‘’Poverty’’. The production of this magazine is made in partnership with Misereor, which is a financial partner of IYCS.

Memorandum of Understanding between IYCS and United Nations Millennium Campaign


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