Footballers and parliamentarians join to score a Millennium Development Goal

On 23 November 2011, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK Branch held a penalty shoot-out on Speaker’s Green at which the House of Commons Speaker, the Lord Speaker, and Members of both Houses stood alongside international football legends to ‘score’ the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Star guests included: Patrick Vieira, former France Captain, World Cup winner and UN Food and Agriculture Goodwill Ambassador; Michael Essien, World Cup and Premiership winner and founder of the Michael Essien Foundation; and Steve Sodje, former Nigeria national player and founding member of the Sodje Foundation. Kelvin Jack, Trinidad and Tobago national goalie, was in goal – forcing the participating parliamentarians to work very hard to ‘achieve’ their goals!

The event was extremely well attended, demonstrating the commitment of parliamentarians to realising the Millennium Declaration, and the strength of feeling towards CPA UK’s upcoming International Parliamentary Conference on the MDGs, from 28 November-2 December 2011.

In his vote of thanks to the guest participants, Rt Hon. John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, drew attention to the importance of sport as a viable and practical tool to assist in the development process, after which Mr Vieira and representatives from Chelsea in the Community and the Michael Essien Foundation gave outlines of their foundations’ work in achieving the MDGs. Participating parliamentarians were asked to select their MDG before taking a shot at the goal – executed with varying degrees of success.

The International Parliamentary Conference on the Millennium Development Goals web page contains further information on CPA UK's upcoming.