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UN Radio: UNDP Urges More Work in Fighting Poverty

UN Radio: UNDP Urges More Work in Fight against World Poverty

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  • Research Finds Small Arms Proliferation Jeopardizes Global Development
  • UNDP Urges More Work in Fight against World Poverty

    The UN Development Programme says rich nations must offer fairer terms of trade and more financial aid, and poor nations should implement wide-ranging reforms to lift millions out of extreme poverty. In its latest Human Development Report, which was launched today, the UNDP says that the pledge by world leaders to reduce extreme poverty by half, by the year 2015, is achievable but it warns that living standards are getting worse for millions of people worldwide. The report's co-author, David Stewart, says even though more than 50 countries have become poorer over the last 10 years, the goals could still be achieved.

    "For the optimist, there's the ambitious strategy of how we build on the extraordinary gains of poverty reduction in the world in recent decades, build on it by really broadening beyond economics to looking at the social and gender and the environmental impediments to reducing poverty. The chances of halving that again by 2015 with the right strategy is, we think, very do-able and this report suggests how. "

    The report says that for the Millennium Development Goals to be realised world wide, urgent action must be taken to help 59 priority countries which face endemic problems like HIV/AIDS, armed conflict and high foreign debts.

    New Survey Says Small Arms Endanger Development

    A New Small Arms Survey launched at the United Nations today says that small arms and light weapons not only kill 60 people an hour, but they also stunt development in many countries. Thomas Greminger of the Swiss Foreign Ministry says there's a crucial link between small arms and development.

    "One of the specific issues that is being addressed by this year's report is the link between small arms proliferation and development. That's a particularly important topic because fighting small arms proliferation has to do with development co-operation instruments."

    The survey, which has been conducted through a worldwide network of local researchers and compiled in Geneva, states that health, security, education, economic growth and infrastructure all suffer when guns dominate. On his part, the Head of the UN Development Programme Mark Malloch Brown, said that small arms and light weapons have an insidious effect on development by undermining the safety and security of communities.

    UNHCR Repatriates Eritreans from More than 30 Years of Sudanese Exile

    The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has facilitated the return home of more than one thousand Eritrean refugees from Sudan. According to the agency, many of the refugees were born in exile in the 1960s and have never seen their homeland. UNHCR spokeswoman Millicent Mutuli says assistance is being given to refugees at both the individual and community levels.

    "We are giving them the transport and once they get to the transit centre, we are also giving them a re-integration package which includes food for three months and also basic domestic supplies. We're also working there with the Government to support these communities that are receiving the returnees."

    The repatriation programme began last year but was suspended because of border tensions between Sudan and Eritrea. The operation resumed last month and the last convoy of refugees moved today.

    UN Special Envoy for Middle East Condemns Suicide Bombing

    The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed-Larsen, has strongly condemned last night's suicide bombing in central Israel, in which a 65 year-old woman was killed. According to UN spokeswoman Hua Jiang, the Middle East coordinator sent his condolences to the victim's family and stressed that the cease-fire announced last week must be strengthened.

    "Roed-Larsen noted that while a cell of a Palestinian militant group claimed responsibility, the group's leadership denied involvement, emphasizing that they remain committed to a cessation of hostilities announced last week."

    Mr. Roed-Larsen also said it is essential that political and security talks continue at full speed to broaden and solidify the ceasefire and prevent future violence.

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