"...I fully support efforts made by many National Economic and Social Councils and by regional networks of NGOs to launch national and regional Centres of Excellence which will promote MDG awareness and information, as well as dissemination of training tools helping to achieve a timely implementation of MDGs."

Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations. Letter to the UNDESA NGO Section, November 19, 2007

Dear Sir or Madam:

We would like you to invite you to participate in a forum being organized through the United Nations-Canada NGO Informal Regional Network (IRENE). The event takes place during Global Citizen Kelowna week, an initiative which is focused on bringing NGOs and the community together to elevate the awareness of the Millennium Development Goals.

Your participation in the forum will enable you to contribute to the development  of a paper submitted to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) High Level Substantive Session of the UN. The forum will be held on Friday April 23 and the morning of Saturday April 24 in Kelowna, British Columbia. Hope for the Nations, an NGO based in Kelowna, is the volunteer coordinator of this network in Canada and will be hosting the event.

The forum will involve a number of first class international and national speakers who will speak about best practices and experiences regarding the Economic and Social Council theme for this years UN High Level Segment at its substantive session: “current global and national trends and challenges and their impact on gender equality and empowerment of women”. (See MDG#3 for more details)


Speakers Include:

•    Marc Kielburger, Free the Children/Me to We
•    Lauryn Oates, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan


•    Doreen Spence, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and 

       Executive Director, Canadian Indigenous Women’s Resource Institute
•    John Baigent, Partners in the Horn of Africa
•    Chomno In, Cambodian HOPE Organization
•    George Chandler, Canadian Red Cross Society


Other speakers will provide input to help NGOs build and reinforce their capacities to market their message, get greater impact from their staffing and resources, and prepare for succession planning by encouraging youth involvement. An objective will also be to promote partnership initiatives, particularly within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

If you are an NGO or an individual in Canada that has an interest in the topic areas, we would encourage you to attend in order to learn from, collaborate and cooperate with and contribute to  other like minded organizations and leaders.  Please visit www.hopeforthenations.com and click on the UN link for more details and registration.

We look forward to seeing you, or a representative from your organization, in Kelowna for this exciting opportunity for Canadian NGOs to collaborate and cooperate to achieve common goals.

Yours truly,


Nick Arkle, Hope for the Nations, Director UN Relations