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Annan Stresses Importance Of Millennium Goals

Ahead Of September World Summit, Annan Stresses Importance Of MDGS

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today gave a ringing endorsement for advancing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at next month’s United Nations World Summit, saying the targets that seek to cure of a host of global socio-economic ills by 2015 form the basis of a mutual pact between developing and developed countries.

Yesterday, a UN spokesperson was asked at the regular noon briefing if Mr. Annan would urge UN members to resist calls by the United States to take out references to the MDGs at the Summit, convened to discuss UN reform and the status of the MDGs, five years after they were adopted at the 2000 UN Summit.

“One of the great achievements of the Millennium Declaration was its success in focusing the world's attention on precise targets which, if achieved by 2015, would mark a real turn of the tide in our struggle against life-destroying poverty,” Mr. Annan told a General Assembly Core Group drawing up a draft outcome document for the 14-16 September summit, after breaking off his holiday yesterday to fly back to New York.

“Since codified and widely endorsed by Member States as the “Millennium Development Goals”, these targets form the basis of the great pact of mutual accountability between developed and developing countries, which was sealed at Monterey (meeting) two years ago,” he said of the targets that seek to halve extreme poverty and hunger, slash maternal and infant mortality, and increase access to health care, education, water and sanitation, all by 2015. “We are not yet on track to achieve them, but they have proved to be an unprecedented catalyst for global action. The challenge now is to put the bargain into effect. I believe the commitments outlined in your draft document would be a big step towards doing so,” he added.

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