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Development Council: Annan Says Growth Not Enough

As UN Development Council Opens Session, Annan Says Growth Not Enough

New York, Jun 29 2005 1:00PM

As the United Nations’ main forum for development issues opened its policy session today, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that economic growth alone is not enough to improve the living conditions of the world’s poor, even if the current robust economic growth rates in developing regions, including sub-Saharan Africa, continue.

“Our biggest challenge is still with us: to translate growth into development for all,” Mr. Annan said as the 2005 session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) opened today with statements by world leaders and experts in economics and related fields.

“In most developing countries, we continue to see high rates of unemployment and under-employment. In Africa, the current and even projected rate of growth is just not enough to achieve the Millennium Development Goals,” he added.

Clearly, he said, economic growth is vital, but not sufficient by itself. If economic growth is to make greater inroads against poverty, he said smarter policies, more resources and closer partnerships were needed, with the full participation of both developed and developing countries. In addition, there must be simultaneous progress in human security, human rights and development.

“Only then will the global economy bring people in from the margins,” he said. “Only then will the benefits of globalization reach all people, including those who need it most.”

As a central body for articulating development policy and ensuring policy coherence, ECOSOC, he said, is well placed to promote such an integrated approach to development, since it is the only organ mandated to coordinate the activities of the UN system and to engage with non-governmental organizations.

Looking forward to September’s World Summit, in which progress toward development goals will be reviewed and the efficacy of the UN in achieving those goals assessed, Mr. Annan reiterated his proposals for the reinvigoration of ECOSOC from his paper, “In Larger Freedom.”

Towards the larger goal of the 2005 World Summit, that of eradicating poverty, he said, “such steps are intended to make the Council more flexible and dynamic, and ultimately more relevant to those who look to it for guidance,” he said.

ENDS

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