Tell UN where you want it to work — hunger, education or healthcare

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 28, 2013 Published on May 28, 2013

Bollywood actor and Unicef Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra.   -  PTI

Priyanka Chopra will promote a UN campaign to collect opinion across the country on focus areas for developmental and relief work

“Thirteen years ago the existing Millennium Development Goals (MDG) were decided by four men in a basement in New York. This time, the UN has decided that was not good enough and decided to throw its door open. It’s a true story,” beamed the charismatic head of UN Systems in India, Lise Grande.

In order to take into account the opinions of people from across India before framing the final draft of the new MDG, the UN office in India has decided to create awareness about a unique campaign called “My World.” Under this, every Indian can use their mobile phone to dial in and vote for what is most important to them and to their families, and select six out of the 16 options.

Some of these options include better job opportunities, good education, better healthcare, affordable and nutritious food, freedom from discrimination and persecution, access to clean water and sanitation. According to statistics, of the 79,411 votes from India, a whopping 50,470 votes have called for good education, followed by better job opportunities (41,252 votes) and better job opportunities (41,252 votes).

Like India, the data would then be collated and analysed from a total of 189 countries by September 2014. To be followed up with national consultations, it would help the UN arrive at a new framework of eight new MDGs. The deadline for previous set of goals is 2015.

Addressing a press conference on the campaign launch in Mumbai, Grande said: “Through this campaign, we want to give a platform to every Indian to be heard. Be it a housewife in rural Rajasthan or to a child in Madhya Pradesh. This is their chance to make their voices heard. This way, they get to have their say in the framing of the global development agenda. When we have a voice capturing the demands of one billion people in India, the world will sit up and take notice.”

Apart from online votes, the campaign, through its partnerships with various non-government organisations and volunteer outreach programmes, will carry out the voting through a ballot system in rural areas, which have little or no access to mobile networks.

Bollywood actor and UN Goodwill Brand Ambassador Priyanka Chopra will be the face of the campaign. Currently available in four languages – English, Hindi, Tamil and Bengali – the campaign will be made available in other regional languages too..

Over 5.6 lakh citizens from 194 countries have already voted, making it one of the largest global surveys. The My World survey can be taken online at or from a mobile by calling 07302010000.

The Millennium Development Goals were officially established at the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. All 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organisations had agreed to achieve these goals by the year 2015.

These goals included eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women. According to Grande, India has had a mixed achievement record, but continues to lag behind, given the challenges of malnutrition and hunger, infant and maternal mortality and sanitation.

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Published on May 28, 2013
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