The 2009 Montreal Millennium Summit - An International Gathering for Those Envisioning and Working to Build a Better World



    MONTREAL, April 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Acting on the initiative of Daniel
Germain, Founding President of the Club des petits déjeuners du Québec and
Breakfast Clubs of Canada, this city is once again hosting the Montreal
Millennium Summit. The event is taking place today and tomorrow at the Palais
des congrès. Attending the third edition of this international summit are key
players in the field of social advocacy, representing governments, civil
society, academia and the world's leading humanitarian organizations. In
working to build a major worldwide network for exchange and cooperation, this
forum serves as a platform for building the general public's awareness of the
Millennium Development Goals, highlighting the efforts of organizations
working to improve our collective well-being, inspiring the next generation to
contribute to sustainable development and suggesting initiatives to ensure
more effective help is given to the planet's most vulnerable inhabitants and
children.
    In November 2006, Montreal was the site of the first Millennium Promise
Conference. This forum for exchange, which was renamed the "Montreal
Millennium Summit" in 2007, set itself the mission of instigating major change
in order to meet the greatest challenges of the upcoming century, which the
United Nations defined as human development, sustainable development, health
and solidarity in September 2000.
    Six years ahead of its target year (2015), the 2008 Millennium Goals
annual report highlights some major successes in achieving the following
goals: education for all, child mortality rates and combating HIV/AIDS and
other diseases. Progress in maternal health, however, has been much less
impressive, and the targets for the Summit's first objective - reducing
extreme poverty and hunger - may not be reached unless efforts are
intensified.
    "With 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty, 1 billion without
access to drinking water and 73 million children not attending school, it's
essential that we take action. The Montreal Millennium Summit represents a
timely opportunity to reflect collectively and propose real solutions. We all
live on the same planet. We need to act to preserve it and improve the future
of those who share it with us," said Patrick Huard, spokesperson for the 2009
Montreal Millennium Summit.
    "Somewhere in the world, a child dies every five seconds: sometimes from
hunger, sometimes from contaminated water, sometimes from an insect bite.
These causes are all targeted by the Millennium Goals, which our governments
are committed to achieving by 2015. Time is running out. It's essential that
we act now if we are to succeed. The Summit is a must for all those who
imagine a better world and are working toward building it," explained Mr.
Germain.
    "The Government of Quebec is very proud to support the 2009 Montreal
Millennium Summit, which will provide an outstanding forum for discussion and
mobilization in the battle against poverty. This international gathering will
bring together speakers and participants to share ideas on experiences here
and abroad for their mutual benefit and will thereby reinforce our efforts to
help the families and children who need our support," said Sam Hamad, Minister
of Employment and Social Solidarity.
    Like the two previous editions, the 2009 Montreal Millennium Summit aims
to make the fight against poverty and global development issues everyone's
business. Influential people have the power to educate and inspire others to
become involved in practical, meaningful actions that will instigate profound
change and make a difference. This year's organizers have put together a
Summit comprising three forums: expert sessions, the Youth Forum and a
conference open to the public.

    Expert Forum - Wednesday, April 15

    The Expert Forum, developed in association with the Montreal Council on
Foreign Relations, is taking place today at the Palais des congrès and is
intended primarily for local, national and international members of civil
society and academics, as well as government decision-makers. The various
meetings, focusing on the food crisis and the role of civil society in
achieving the Millennium Development Goals, will promote discussion among
representatives of major organizations with a view to sharing practices and
developing concrete solutions.

    Youth Forum - Wednesday, April 15

    Concurrently with the expert sessions, the Youth Forum, organized in
association with Club 2/3, the youth division of Oxfam-Québec, will bring
together more than 500 young people with some of the Summit's speakers, who
will inspire these up-and-coming citizens. To conclude the event, the young
people will be invited to meet and dialogue with the experts at a final Summit
gathering, a unique opportunity for these future decision-makers.

    Major Conference Open to the Public - Thursday, April 16

    Following on the success of its previous editions, the high point of this
year's Summit will be the major conference on Thursday, April 16, which will
be open to the general public. The participatory format will give the audience
an opportunity to listen and dialogue with the invited speakers. This event,
organized by Denis Bouchard, will bring together high-level dignitaries,
stakeholders directly involved in international development as well as
distinguished, world-renowned public figures who are committed to the cause.
Distinguished guests will include:

    Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
    Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations
    Dr. Shirin Ebadi: First Muslim woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
    (2003)
    Phil Fontaine: National chief, Assembly of First Nations
    Marc and Craig Kielburger: Nobel Peace Prize nominees and founders of
    Free the Children
    Mia Farrow: Actress and UNICEF ambassador
    Dominique Corti: Honorary president, Teasdale-Corti Foundation (Canada)
    Val Kilmer: Actor and activist
    Salil Shetty: Director, UN Millennium Goals Campaign
    Rebecca Mader: Actress and spokesperson, Drink 1, Give 10
    Dr. Gilles Julien: Fondation pour la promotion de la pédiatrie sociale

    Panel:
    -----
    John Prendergast: Human rights activist
    Peter Thum: Founder of Ethos Water and Vice President, Starbucks
    Caroline Baron: Producer and Founder, FilmAid
    Nick Clooney: Reporter and Panel moderator

    This year's Summit is extending its scope, with a conference in Quebec
City on April 16 in conjunction with the Fondation communautaire du Grand
Québec. Dan Bigras and Craig Kielburger will address more than 300 people from
academia and the corporate world.

    For more information about guests and speakers at this event, please
visit the 2009 Montreal Millennium Summit website at:

    
                       http://www.milleniumsummit.ca/

    The 2009 Montreal Millennium Summit is presented by Investors Group
Financial Services in partnership with the Government of Quebec.

                   Speakers' biographies are available at:
    http://www.sommetmillenaire.ca/Speakers.aspx?NavID=379&CultureCode=fr

                       2009 Montreal Millennium Summit
                                Experts Forum
                       Palais des Congrès de Montréal

                        Planned Schedule for April 15

                   (*)Schedule may change without notice(*)
                   ----------------------------------------

    8:00 to 9:00    Participants registration

    8:30            Media information session

    9:00 to 9:30    Welcoming speech
                    Mr. Daniel Germain, President-founder, Montreal
                    Millennium Summit
                    Mr. Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations,
                    Quebec
                    Master of Ceremony: Mr. Pierre Lemonde, President and
                    Chief Executive Officer, Montreal Council on Foreign
                    Relations

    9:30 to 10:00   Keynote speaker
                    Mr. Salil Shetty, Director of the United Nations
                    Millennium Campaign

    10:15 to 11:45  Session 1: The Food Crisis: Sources and solutions
                    Speakers: Mrs. Fionna Douglas, Program Manager,
                    Agricultural and Rural Development, World Bank
                    Mr. Henk-Jan Brinkman, Senior Advisor for Economic
                    Policy, United Nations World Food Programme, New York
                    Office
                    Mr. Frédéric Boisrond, Executive Director, Action Against
                    Hunger-Canada; Member of the Executive Committee, Action
                    Against Hunger International Network
                    Mr. Mamadou Ndoye, Executive Secretary, ADEA
                    Session President: Mr. André Beaudoin, President, Union
                    of Agricultural Producers - International Development
                    (UPADI)

    11:45 to 1:30   Luncheon:
                    Mr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute,
                    University Columbia. Special Advisor to United Nations
                    Secretary-General on Millennium Development Goals
                    Master of Ceremony: Mr. Pierre Lemonde, President and
                    Chief Executive Officer, Montreal Council on Foreign
                    Relations

    1:30 to 3:30    Session 2: The Role of Civil Society in Reaching MDGs
                    Speakers: Dr. Rajesh Tandon, Chair of the Board of the
                    International Montreal Forum and President of the Society
                    for Participatory Research in Asia
                    Mrs. Sylvia Borren, Co-Chair of World Connectors and of
                    Global Call to Action Against Poverty
                    Mr. Gerry Barr, President-CEO, Canadian Council for
                    International Co-operation (CCIC)
                    Mr. John Prendergast, human rights activist, former
                    adviser to the White House and the State Department in
                    the mid-1990s, former Senior Adviser at the International
                    Crisis Group (ICG)
                    Mr.Patrick Beauduin, Vice-President, Convergent
                    Communications, Cossette Communications Group
                    Session President : Mr. François Gérin-Lajoie, Chief
                    Executive Officer, Fondation Paul Gérin-Lajoie

    3:30 to 3:45    Move to the Meeting... at the Summit

    3:45 to 5:00    Meeting... at the Summit
                    Presentation of Mrs. Dominique Corti, question period,
                    presentation of the youth manifesto presentation to the
                    experts and closing remarks
    




For further information:

For further information: Media relations: Bouba Slim, Roy & Turner
Communications, (514) 286-1004, ext. 24, Cellular: (514) 777-1926,
bouba@boubaslim.com; Isabelle Longtin, Roy & Turner Communications, (514)
844-9678, ext. 207, Cellular: (514) 266-3295, ilongtin@roy-turner.com

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MONTREAL MILLENNIUM SUMMIT

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