In September 2000, at the United Nations Millennium Summit, world leaders agreed to a set of time-bound
and measurable goals and targets for combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental
degradation and discrimination against women. Placed at the heart of the global agenda, these are now
called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Summitís Millennium Declaration (A/RES/55/2) also outlined a
wide range of commitments in human rights, good governance and democracy. At the beginning of the declaration, subtitled Values and Principles, values were considered fundamentally essential to international relations
in the twenty-first century and these included: Freedom, Equality, Solidarity, Tolerance, Respect for
Nature and Shared Responsiblity.
Answering the Call to Values In December we held an informal gathering at a luncheon conversation with Ambassadors
and members of the Values Caucus to further our collaborative efforts to strengthen and promote
the values articulated in the Millennium Declaration.
Eleanor Rae, member of the Values Caucus, launched the Earth Values Caucus (EVC) in 2000 specifically to
bring a values agenda to the Earth Summit in Johannesburg 2002, as well as addressing environmental
concerns through the Commission on Sustainable Development and the UN Environment Programme. The EVC
has become a coalition of more than 40 NGOs accredited and unaccredited throughout the world. The group
actively participated in all the PrepComs of the Summit, wrote a position paper, lobbied delegates and
conducted workshops and gatherings in South Africa in 2002.