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Secretary-General urges greater efforts to achieve anti-poverty targets

Secretary-General urges greater efforts to achieve anti-poverty targets

Stating that the world was “seriously off track” to reaching some of its shared anti-poverty goals by the target date of 2015, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for urgently stepped-up efforts to achieve the objectives on time.

“For the next seven and a half years, every day is a new day for us to make a difference for millions of people around the world,” Mr. Ban said today in New York, urging more concerted action towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the set of eight targets for slashing poverty and other social and economic ills, all by 2015.

Mr. Ban’s call for action came at the launch of a new initiative by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who, during his first visit to United Nations Headquarters since taking office last month, today announced a global partnership for development involving government and business leaders.

The Secretary-General hailed Mr. Brown’s “deep and genuine commitment to development,” and his proposal for a summit-level meeting on the Goals at the UN next year, saying that, to make such an event a success, the entire membership of the world body will need to be fully engaged in the preparations and follow-up.

A mid-point progress report on the MDGs, presented by Mr. Ban earlier this month, showed that the Goals remain achievable in most countries, but only if political leaders in rich and poor nations take urgent and concerted action.

Calling the 2015 target date a “goalpost that cannot be moved,” Mr. Ban stressed today the need to “infuse our mission with the urgency it requires.”

“As we reach the halfway point to that date, the clock is ticking louder every day,” he stated, adding that reaching the Goals on time will require strengthened partnerships between developed and developing countries and “innovative and bold” contributions from business, civil society and faith groups.

“Some say we will not make it,” he said. “But I say we still can.”