On 11 April, the UN Country Team in collaboration with the Government of Zimbabwe hosted an MDG Dialogue event to mark the countdown to 1000 Days of Action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The MDG Dialogue was part of the global launch where UN and partners worldwide will countdown the remaining 1000 days until the 2015 target date for achieving the MDGs. The countdown began on 5th April.
UNIC Harare mounted an exhibition of publications that included The Millennium Development Goals Report: 2012 (100 copies), Millennium Development Goals: 2012 Progress Chart (100 copies), ZUNDAF 2012-2015 Snapshot, Tawanda’s Journey, MDGs Reference Guide (wallet-size) and other publications from the United Nations Country Team.
The MDG Dialogue focused on the health MDGs, with particular attention to MDG 5 on maternal health, and on Zimbabwe's perspectives on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Speakers at this event, which was attended by over 100 people included UN Resident Coordinator and UNIC Harare Director, Mr. Alain Noudehou who set the scene in his opening remarks saying that although Zimbabwe has achieved progress in the areas of education, reducing child mortality and combating HIV, it still had a lot of work to do to reduce the high rate of maternal mortality.
Other speakers included UNFPA Representative, Dr Tambashe and World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative Dr. David Okello. The government was represented by Mr. Mhishi, Director in the Ministry of Labour and Social Services, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, Dr. Desire Sibanda.
The event was attended by over 150 people including representatives of the UN, government, donors, civil society and the media. It was well-covered by both print and electronic media.
The MDG Dialogue was preceded by an advocacy campaign which included inserting a UNCT statement on the 1000 days, tweets and facebook messaging by the different UN agencies in Zimbabwe.