At the Millennium Summit in September 2000, the largest gathering of world leaders in history adopted the UN Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets, with a deadline of 2015, that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp serves as an international ambassador for the MDGs. In this function, he raises awareness and support for the MDGs and speaks out for them on many occasions. In 2005, he launched the statement "A prophetic time path" that was co-authored by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and published by Justicia et Pa in the booklet "Act now for the Millennium Development Goals - Appeals from Religious Leaders and Scholars", which holds:
"Our prophets teach us not only to give our bread to feed the hungry, but to give our own bread. We must show by personal example, by sharing more of our material wealth, by rescuing our planet from pollution, by giving more of our time and energy to help meet these goals in time." Please read the full statement here:
A Prophetic Time Path
By Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, 2005
,,We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future….The choice is ours: form a global partnership to care for Earth and one and other or risk the destruction of ourselves and the diversity of live”. This is the challenge, awesome in its simplicity posed by the Earth Charter, written in a remarkable collaborative effort by hundreds of thousands all over the world and presented to the Queen of the
This global partnership, required to reverse the trend towards destruction and provide hope to our Earth community was formed only months later in September 2000 when the highest political representatives of 189 states signed the millennium declaration and the millennium Development Goals. ,,We will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are currently subjected. We are committed to making the right to development a reality for everyone and to freeing the entire human race from want.”
The greatest hope lies in the audacity of putting a definite date to these efforts. They truly embarked on a prophetic time path towards the year 2015. We believe with a complete faith that our spiritual traditions must and will answer the challenge and together help immensely to reach these goals. We are called by the All Merciful One to sanctify time, and devote this coming decade, every year, every hour to the alleviation of misery, to the provision of water, health, food, education and peace.
We are commanded to love the neighbor and the stranger as ourselves, to be aware always that we form one body, and that when one part of the body aches, we all feel the pain. Our prophets teach us not only to feed the hungry, but to give of our own bread. We must show by personal example, by sharing more our material wealth, by rescuing our planet from pollution, by giving more of our time and energy to help meet these goals in time. Thus we commend to take upon us an extra millennium taxation of 0,1% of our income in addition to our tsedaka, our normal contribution, for this decade.
Every woman, man and child must take personal responsibility and enter into this covenant of justice.
The millennium evaluation report shows that the world community has at its disposal the proven technologies, policies, financial resources, and must importantly, the human courage and compassion to reach the goal of cutting extreme poverty by half by the year 2015 and altogether within the coming years.
We, the children who survived by the soft forces of compassion, by people who opened the door of safety to us cannot but respond fully and timely.
Every moment counts: we hold the doorknob in our hands, the door stands ajar. Millions and millions of children look towards us from the despair of preventable diseases, enslavement, violence, thirst.
Do we close or open the door? In the eyes of these children we meet the Holy Blessed Be He, the master of the house, who urges us to make the right choice, to save one human life and thus the whole world, every second.
Read more about the Millennium Development Goals
Read the text of the Millennium Declaration