U.N. Secretary-General to Address Evangelical Leaders

WASHINGTON – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will address a group of socially concerned evangelical leaders next week during a Global Leaders Dinner.

Religious leaders gathering outside of Washington next Thursday will be informed about the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the importance of this time in history to make a lasting impact on poverty.

The dinner with Ban will be the first part of the two-day Global Leaders Forum convened by the National Association of Evangelicals and Micah Challenge USA.

"The Millennium Development Goals echo the calls of the biblical prophets to care for the poor and defend the weak. These calls to justice and compassion are absolutely integral to the Gospel and the Church's mission in the world," said Peter Vander Meulen, co-chair of Micah Challenge USA.

Micah Challenge is a global campaign to mobilize Christians against poverty. One of its main goals is to influence governments to fulfill their promise to achieve the eight MDGs by 2015. The MDGs include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases, and reducing child mortality

"In obedience to the prophet Micah's Call to 'do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God,' (Micah 6:8) American evangelical leaders at this gathering intend to listen carefully to the Secretary General and then have significant, authentic conversations NOT just among ourselves as Americans, but with key evangelical Christian leaders around the world," said Vander Meulen.

The forum will bring together evangelical leaders from the United States and the Global South. On Friday, Oct. 12, leaders will discuss issues such as poverty, hunger, HIV/AIDS, trafficking, bioethics, human rights, creation care, torture, and peacemaking.

"Evangelicals are the 'new internationalists' with a record of legislative successes and expect to shape U.S. foreign policy in ways unimaginable even a year ago," said Richard Cizik, NAE's vice president of governmental affairs, in a statement.

Other key sponsors of the event include Bread for the World, World Relief, Frontiers, the Evangelical Environmental Network, and the U.N. Millennium Campaign.