Making History in Australia

The UN DPI/NGO Conference was held in Melbourne, Australia from Monday August 30, to Wednesday, September 1, 2010. The general theme of the conference was “Advance Global Health: Achieve the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals).” The Conference, the largest annual gathering for UN DPI/NGO, highlighted the ways in which civil society, in partnership with other actors, can contribute to fostering global health. Participants included NGO representatives, academia, civil society organizations, grassroots constituencies, media, UN Member States, private sector, UN System and other significant stakeholders.

IMI Delegates participated in a range of workshops that emphasized the need for more integration of health programs, methods to generate outcome data, cost effective delivery, sustainability, and prevention to achieve equity in global health.

As a part of the selective workshops, IMI also hosted a workshop entitled Treating Diabetes to Achieve the MDGs. Taking advantage of leading international authorities and the expertise in diabetic care of Imamia Medics International in developed and impoverished areas, this workshop examined diabetes research, treatments, epidemiology, and health delivery systems. It explored the growth of diabetes in developing countries, and what the global community must do to address the needs of the thousands diagnosed with diabetes every day. The workshop also highlighted the care of diabetes in emergency relief situations, focusing on the concerns arising during Pakistan flood relief activities.

Given the necessity to fulfill a void in the conference program to address relief activities and needs in Pakistan due to the severe flooding, and based on participants requests, IMI also took a portion of the workshop time to discuss the dire need across all relief sectors in Pakistan at that time.

During the course of the conference, IMI collaborated with like-minded organizations to address the inadequate international response to and awareness of the situation in Pakistan due to the severe floods. IMI, in addition to the information session, also co-authored a statement to the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon with the Fred Hollows Foundation, Oxfam Australia, and World Vision to increase international support for Pakistan Flood Relief and calling for a short term debt moratorium. The statement was unanimously adopted by all NGOs present with a standing ovation by all 2000 International delegates. The Chair of the Conference, Dr Mary Norton immediately seconded it with an a quick approval by the Undersecretary General to UN, Dr Akasaka who promised to take it to the Secretary General’s table in New York.

IMI delegates also spoke out on the issue during sessions and were interviewed by various media outlets for international coverage of the situation in Pakistan. The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) World News program aired a segment with IMI delegates speaking about the flood related situation on August 31, 2010 and ABC news presented the statement submitted.

  • It was an excellent once in a lifetime experience. Going with IMI enables us to be treated so well and we could see so many special places. 

    Sabina Syed
  • I cannot express the profound impact IMI has had on my life: from the incredible opportunity to serve on the Arbaeen Medical Mission to the insightful career guidance and special programs for Young Leaders that I’ve benefitted from!

    Mohammed Akbar
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