When 17-year-old Sona Traore represented the Child Protection Network of Liberia at a civil society event organized in conjunction with a three-day United Nations meeting in this capital city earlier this month, she knew she was not speaking for Liberian children alone.
The meeting was linked to a meeting of the 27-member High-Level Panel (HLP) appointed last July by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to explore how to follow up a campaign to end extreme poverty by 2015. Most African countries will miss many of the eight specific Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including targets to improve health, provide universal education and protect the environment. Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a panel co-chair, along with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom. Other members are from civil society, the private sector and governments.