World needs to invest much more to achieve development goals - Annan

8 April 2004

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned an international meeting on development today that even if the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are reached by their target date of 2015, the world will still face "a vast backlog of human deprivation."

There needs to be "a broader, long-term strategy" that aims not only to eradicate poverty but to build infrastructure such as roads and ports and to develop "global public goods" by protecting air and water quality and fighting communicable diseases, Mr. Annan said in an address delivered on his behalf by José Antonio Ocampo, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, to the Ministerial Forum on Financing for Development in Paris.

The eight MDGs, adopted at a UN summit in 2000, include the halving of extreme poverty, achieving universal primary education, improving maternal health and reducing child mortality.

Mr. Annan said that achieving the MDGs on schedule is unlikely, however; it will require "at least a doubling of recent levels of official development assistance," and that does not seem likely to happen soon.

"Official development assistance has increased recently, but many developed countries currently face fiscal constraints. Total resources are still falling far short of needs," he said.

Calling on participants at the Forum to think creatively about what the public and private sectors can do to support development in poorer States, he hailed the International Finance Facility proposal of Gordon Brown, the United Kingdom's Chancellor of the Exchequer, describing it as "one of the most innovative ideas."


♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox - Subscribe here to a topic.
♦ Download the UN News app for your iOS or Android devices.