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Secretary-General lauds innovative sources of financing for development

Secretary-General lauds innovative sources of financing for development

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has hailed two new initiatives aimed at raising additional money for development, an immunization fund and a levy on plane tickets, declaring that in a few months time they will start saving the lives of millions of people around the world.

“They show that the international community not only has the resources and knowledge to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but also is beginning to develop the necessary political will,” he said in a statement issued by his spokesman, referring to the set of eight targets that aim to slash a host of socio-economic ills, such as extreme poverty, hunger and lack of access to education and health care, all by 2015.

Mr. Annan’s statement came on the margins of the three-day World Summit at UN Headquarters in New York after a number of countries pledged resources to an International Finance Facility for Immunization, which would enable it to raise even more resources through the issuing of bonds. Some countries are also exploring the introduction of a levy on tickets for air travel to fund development efforts.

“The Secretary-General strongly encourages other countries to join these initiatives,” the statement added.

It noted that even with recent increases in official development assistance (ODA) and the commitments of 15 members of the European Union to devote 0.7 per of their income to ODA and even if the MDGs are reached, “there will still be a vast backlog of human deprivation that deserves our unrelenting attention.

“That is why innovative sources of finances are so important,” it added.