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

    MONTREAL, April 16 /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 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
    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
    "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.
    "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.

    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
    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

    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:

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

                   Speakers' biographies are available at:

                         Montreal Millennium Summit
                          Schedule - April 16, 2009

                   (*)Schedule may change without notice(*)

    9 a.m.      Luck Mervil and Patrick Huard and children present the eight
                Millennium Development Goals

    9:15        Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor
                General of Canada, declares the Summit open

    9:25        Daniel Germain thanks the Governor General and introduces the
                Investors Group representative

    9:30        Investors Group representative welcomes participants

    9:35        MichelineVilleneuve, Kids' Horizons Manager, Air Canada
                introduces Marc and Craig Kielburger

    9:55        Marina Orsini introduces Dominique Corti

    10:15       Michelle Courchesne, Minister of Education, Leisure and
                Sport, introduces Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-
                General of the United Nations

    10:25       Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-General of the United

    11:00       Ima performs Imagine

    11:05       Daniel Germain introduces Mia Farrow

    11:10       Mia Farrow

    11:30       Young representative of the Youth Forum

    11:35       Dr Shirin Ebadi, first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel
                Peace Prize (2003)

    12:10 p.m.  Lunch

    1:30        African Children's Choir, with Gregory Charles

    1:40        Forces Avenir

    1:45        Expert panel: Nick Clooney, John Prendergast, Caroline Baron,
                Peter Thum

    2:30        Jacques Ménard introduces Dr. Gilles Julien

    2:45        Rebecca Mader, Spokesperson for "Drink 1 Give 10," with
                Olivier Sonnois

    3:00        Phil Fontaine, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations

    3:15        Salil Shetty, Director, Millennium Development Goals campaign

    3:20        Presentation of Paul Gérin-Lajoie award

    3:40        Ginette Reno performs

    3:45        Val Kilmer introduces Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York

    3:55        Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York

    4:20        The Canadian Tenors perform

    4:25        Finale: Patrick Huard

For further information:

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

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