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World Must Do More To Defeat Poverty Says Robson

22 March 2002

The international community must stop giving with one hand and taking with the other, Minister responsible for International Development Matt Robson today told world leaders at the UN Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico.

“Lifting spending on overseas aid must be accompanied by improving trade access and providing debt relief for developing countries. We also all need to take a good hard look at the global imbalance between military and aid expenditure,” says Matt Robson.

Matt Robson also commended developing countries for recognising the need to take responsibility for improving governance and cleaning up corruption.

“We have just created a new aid agency in New Zealand – the New Zealand Agency for International Development or NZAID which will focus primarily on poverty elimination and support for good governance, particularly in our own region of the Pacific,” says Matt Robson.

“Reports show that small states – like most in the Pacific – are systemically more vulnerable to poverty.

“There is a real momentum here in Monterrey for developed countries to lift their game by increasing their aid spending to 0.7% of GNP. The New Zealand government is committed to reaching that target as revenue and resources allow. On my return I will be taking up the challenge of working out exactly how we’re going to do that.”

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