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World Cities At UN Forum Unite To Reduce Poverty

World cities at UN forum unite to reduce poverty and boost democracy

27 March 2008 - Representatives of cities from 100 countries around the world are meeting in Athens, Greece, to create local plans to achieve international development goals through the promotion of democracy, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said today.

More than 1,000 delegates are taking part in the sixth global forum of the World Alliance of Cities against Poverty, meeting from 26 to 28 March, in an effort to work together on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), targets to slash extreme poverty and other global ills by 2015.

At the forum, municipalities are sharing their experiences in the areas of hunger, access to primary education, water and sanitation, child mortality, maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS and gender gaps. Richer cities will commit to cooperation with cities in the developing world, UNDP said.

One of the innovative outcomes expected from the meeting is the adoption of time-bound and quantified local "road maps" that will determine targets to be reached on various facets of poverty in each city.

The meeting, according to UNDP, is a response to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's call to intensify efforts to meet the 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs, now that the midpoint between that year and 2000 has been passed.

Greece, which is marking the 2500th anniversary of the birth of democracy in Athens, was chosen for this event because of the meeting's focus on the role of local participatory processes as a lever for better progress towards poverty eradication.

ENDS

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