Sunday, April 17, 2005

[MDGs] Annan urges anti-poverty efforts by rich, poor countries

WASHINGTON: UN chief Kofi Annan called on Saturday on wealthy nations and the developing world to join forces to defeat poverty, a mission that he said requires not just aid but security and market access.Addressing a joint meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Annan said developed countries must stump up much more cash to make their aid budgets reach a UN target of 0.7 percent of gross domestic product. Rich countries must also show more commitment to a successful conclusion of talks at the World Trade Organisation, including duty-free access for exports from the least developed nations “as a crucial first step”, he said.A comprehensive response to the special needs of Africa, including the fight against AIDS, and new ways to fight climate change must also feed into a special UN summit in September devoted to development issues.But the developing world for its part must improve governance, and use increased aid flows properly, to ensure grinding poverty is eased, Annan said according to the published text of his remarks.“By the same token, developing countries are more likely to support those vital security and human rights objectives if they see that donor countries are willing to make a greater effort for development, and to give them a stronger voice in global economic governance,” he said. Annan said that this year represented a “unique opportunity” to get back on track towards the UN’s so-called Millennium Development Goals.The goals, which were set in 2000 and will be reviewed at the September UN summit, aim to slash global poverty in half by 2015, step up the fight against diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis and increase access to education. “Certainly on the development side we need a step change this year — otherwise it will be too late for many countries to have any real hope of reaching the (goals) by 2015,” the UN secretary-general said.
[Source afp]