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World leaders at UN development forum adopt action plan to fight poverty

World leaders at UN development forum adopt action plan to fight poverty

In what has been widely hailed as a major achievement in the global effort to eradicate poverty, a landmark United Nations conference in Monterrey, Mexico, today approved a series of measures to help impoverished countries and promote economic growth around the globe.

More than 50 heads of State, along with other senior government officials from across the world, adopted the so-called Monterrey Consensus at the International Conference on Financing for Development.

In endorsing the Consensus, States resolved to address the challenges of unlocking resources for development around the world, particularly in developing countries, with the goal of eradicating poverty, achieving sustained economic growth and promoting development.

The document recommends a number of specific measures to ensure that world trade supports development for all, and calls on leaders to implement the commitments made in Doha, Qatar, to address the marginalization of the least developed countries in international trade. The Consensus further calls on developed countries to work towards duty-free and quota-free access for all least developed-country exports and advocates increased allocations in aid as well as debt relief measures.

The weeklong Conference drew some 8,000 participants, including more than 2,500 government representatives, 1,800 journalists, and 800 delegates from non-governmental organizations or businesses.

Before adopting the Consensus, the Conference this morning heard from eight presidents and prime ministers during its plenary session, which was attended by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who had addressed the forum yesterday.

In the margins of the meeting, the Secretary-General met briefly with President Stepan Mesic of Croatia before holding talks with French President Jacques Chirac.

Afterwards, Mr. Annan participated in a retreat for world leaders hosted by Mexican President Vicente Fox, before returning to New York.