20 September 2010

IFSW Statement on the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)

Gary Bailey, MSW, ACSW, President of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), today called upon world leaders as they prepared for the Millennium Development Summit meeting in New York City this week to “Maintain a focus on the reality of the lives lived by those individuals and families who are among the world’s poorest people. Social workers see daily the effect of poverty and a lack of the most necessities on the lives of people. The MDG’s if successfully achieved will still leave half of the world living in poverty. While they cannot be the only response to these injustices, they are a real and needed beginning.”

IFSW welcomes the significant progress in reaching some of these goals, with poverty reduction on target, more children in school, and more people able to access life-saving medicines. However families must still choose between feeding their children and sending them to school. Climate change is threatening agriculture and livelihoods in poor countries and 960 women die in pregnancy or childbirth every day for want of simple medical care.

The 2010 world conference in Hong Kong (June 2010) identified a global Agenda for social work. The development of a Global Agenda on social work and social development gives us the opportunity to take stock of our past experiences and to articulate a new and crucial vision for engagement that can mobilise our members and partners to collectively develop our vision for the future, a vision grounded in the reality of people’s social lives and experiences and which is not dominated by finance and a narrow vision of economic truth.

IFSW is working with the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW) to develop the global Agenda for social work and social development, working closely with the United Nations and other partners. ‘We call upon world leaders and the UN to intensify their committent to the eradication of poverty and disadvantage for so many of the world’s citizens. The global social work profession is committed to partnering in resolving these issues and will bring to bear our extensive networks, knowledge ,skills and expertise” Bailey concluded.

On Monday 20 September 2010 social workers from around the world call on the leaders of the world, meeting this week in New York, to remember the reality of the lives of those who are the poorest and to redouble efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals’.

Note for Editors

IFSW is the global federation of national social work organisations in more than 80 countries representing over 700,000 social workers. IFSW has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and is also accredited to the International Labour Organisation, UNICEF and the Council of Europe. IFSW is a UN Habitat partner organisation.

IFSW Policies

IFSW already has global policies and discussion papers on a number of the areas covered by the MDGs, all are available at www.ifsw.org/policies

These include