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Accountability & Achievement Of Anti-Poverty Goals

Mutual accountability needed to achieve anti-poverty goals - Assembly President

2 April 2008 - Mutual accountability between rich and poor States is the only way forward to achieving the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim said today, addressing a debate on how to best achieve those Goals by 2015.

Mr. Kerim said it was clear from the discussions so far - the multi-day debate in the Assembly began yesterday with a series of speeches and panel discussions - "that we have the solutions. The key issue is that we all have to deliver on our commitments, scale up our efforts and accelerate progress. Failure is not an option."

The Assembly President stressed that it was important not to "descend into mutual accusations" that would divert attention from taking real action to achieve the MDGs, which include pledges to drastically reduce poverty, improve maternal and child health and ensure much greater access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

"When aid is effectively aligned behind national governments and predictable over the long term, rapid progress can be achieved," he said. "Leaders across every level of the development system now need to hold themselves to account... We need to urgently translate political commitments - made at the highest level - into results on the ground."

Mr. Kerim said yesterday's panel discussions on education, health, poverty and hunger reaffirmed the view that making progress on those fronts is crucial to achieving all of the eight MDGs.

Yesterday he told the opening of the debate that the world has a "critical window of opportunity" this year to accelerate progress towards the MDGs by translating earlier commitments into concrete action.

Recent reports have indicated that sub-Saharan Africa remains well off track to achieving any of the Goals, and the debate has heard calls for renewed commitment to help the continent make greater progress.

ENDS

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