Posted by Linda Zecher, Corporate Vice President Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft
Last night in New York, the United Nations Foundation honored Microsoft with the inaugural Corporate Award for leadership in advancing UN causes. I had the distinct honor of accepting this award on behalf of Microsoft and our 88,000 employees worldwide. Pictured Left: Linda Zecher, Corporate Vice President Worldwide Public Sector Microsoft, speaks to audience at the UN Foundation Awards ceremony where Microsoft was recognized for their leadership work to achieve the MDG’s.
For more than a decade we have had the privilege of working with our UN partners and supporting their tireless efforts to realize the Millennium Development Goals. As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said, “Our world possesses the knowledge and the resources to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.”
We believe passionately that technology can be a catalyst for harnessing that knowledge and those resources. It can be an essential tool in meeting our toughest global challenges and helping all people realize their full potential.
But, we have long understood that technology alone is not the answer. It takes more than just access to a computer to educate a child, help a rural farmer prosper, or help a girl escape violence. It requires a holistic approach of shared expertise and resources of all stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
That principle that has been the basis for our partnerships with UN organizations – starting with UNHCR in 1998 and continuing with UNESCO, UNIDO, UNEP and many others. Together we have explored and developed new and scalable ways to use technology to support teachers and students, to expand online access to the world’s best research and knowledge, to help small businesses to grow and to help bring vital support and education to refugees.
UN organizations have helped bring about real progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals, but we have a long way to go. As Bill Gates has said, “The world is getting better, but it’s not getting better fast enough, and it’s not getting better for everyone.”
We look forward to continuing and expanding our work and impact with our UN partners. Most of all, we look forward to the day that the Millennium Development Goals will no longer be “goals”… but reality.