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NZ reinforces support for poverty elimination

Wed, 23 Feb 2005

NZ reinforces support for poverty elimination

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The world knows how to reduce global poverty and has the means to do it - but success will come down to political will, Aid Minister Marian Hobbs said today.

She was speaking in support of New Zealand's formal response in New York to a UN report on progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. The goals, endorsed in 2000 by 189 countries including New Zealand, set out ambitious targets to reduce extreme poverty by 2015.

The just released UN report measures progress towards and makes recommendations for meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

"NZAID, our international aid and development agency, is closely considering the content and recommendations of the UN''s Millennium Project Report, which outlines how we can begin to significantly reduce extreme poverty," Marian Hobbs said. "Poverty is currently killing people at around the rate of one Asian tsunami per week.

"The UN report puts the case that both developed and developing countries need to do more, fast, to reduce extreme poverty.

"Our job in New Zealand is to become the best development partner that we can be and NZAID, our international development and aid agency, is spearheading this effort.

"NZAID has been strengthening the focus of New Zealand's aid programme and changing the way that we deliver aid to ensure that those most in need get the maximum benefit from it."

The UN report was an important reminder that although reducing extreme poverty is a worthy cause in its own right, it is also an essential precondition for creating a more secure world for everybody, Marian Hobbs said.

"The 60th Anniversary of the UN in September this year will be a tremendous opportunity for countries to reaffirm their commitment to reducing global poverty by 2015 and agreeing to a practical plan of action to achieve it. That will in turn contribute to a better world for all of us," the minister added.

ENDS

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