"I have spent the last four years watching people die."

With these wrenching words, diplomat and humanitarian Stephen Lewis opens his 2005 Massey Lectures. Lewis's determination to bear witness to the desperate plight of so many in Africa and elsewhere is balanced by his unique, personal, and often searing insider's perspective on our ongoing failure to help.

Lewis recounts how, in 2000, the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York introduced eight Millennium Development Goals, which focused on fundamental issues such as education, health, and cutting poverty in half by 2015. In audacious prose, alive with anecdotes ranging from maddening to hilarious to heartbreaking, Lewis shows why and how the international community is falling desperately short of these goals.

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Stephen Lewis is the UN Secretary-General's special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, a commissioner of the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health, and director of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

His extensive experience as a politician, diplomat, and humanitarian includes tenures as Canadian ambassador to the UN, special advisor on Africa to the UN Secretary-General, and deputy executive director of UNICEF. He was named Maclean's magazine's "Canadian of the Year" in 2003 and was listed by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

Listen to Part 1 of Race Against Time

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Race Against Time is published by House of Anansi Press