UN expert group proposed to close gap on anti-poverty targets

4 June 2010

In the shadow of the financial crisis and global recession, an adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has proposed a new United Nations group of experts to find new and more stable sources of funding and help close the gap in reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – anti-poverty targets world leaders have agreed to try to attain by 2015.

“We are just witnessing the very beginning of Western countries’ financial and economic crisis, crisis which will have dramatic consequences for populations in developing countries,” Philippe Douste-Blazy, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Innovative Financing for Development, said in his opening remarks to the informal event on innovative sources of development finance held yesterday in New York.

Speaking to representatives of leaders from think tanks, business, academia and philanthropies, Mr. Douste-Blazy said that the focus was on mechanisms that would make a significant contribution to the global economy without distorting it.

“The United Nations system has an important role to play: as a catalyst for new ideas, a forum for consensus-building, and an agent for implementation,” said Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro.

The World Bank estimates that innovative fundraising generated $57.1 billion in official flows between 2000 and 2008. Of this, solidarity levies and contributions – such as a voluntary $2 contribution which travellers can now make when they purchase an airline ticket online – accounted for $11.7 billion.

“Business, civil society and the world public have demonstrated their support for these efforts and are ready to take them further,” she added.

The outcome of yesterday’s meeting will be discussed as part of the high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly to be held in September at the UN Headquarters in New York.

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