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Clear Will Needed To Achieve World Development

Clear Political Will Needed To Meet Development Targets, Chilean Leader Tells UN

New York, Sep 24 2008 1:10PM

The current turbulence in international financial markets demonstrates that the world needs a renewed sense of purpose in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their 2015 deadline, the President of Chile told the General Assembly today.

“A better world is possible, but this requires determination to move forward,” Michelle Bachelet told delegates at the annual high-level debate on its second day.

But she cautioned that the current economic crisis is proof that such determination is lacking.

“The greed and irresponsibility of a few, combined with the political negligence of others, has plunged the world into a situation of great uncertainty,” the President said, noting that the funds earmarked for bailing out global banks could be put to use to stamp out world hunger.

States and civil society must band together to set out a course of action to tackle global food crisis and take measures to ensure that economic fluctuations do not impede the achievement of the MDGs, she said.

“That is why I appeal for an urgent and genuine commitment to multilateralism,” Ms. Bachelet told the Assembly.

Chile is on track to meet the Goals well ahead of the 2015 target, she said, with its economy nearly tripling in size since the end of the dictatorship in 1989.

“We have advanced strongly on all fronts: health, education, housing, quality of life, social cohesion,” the President said, noting that the poverty rate has plummeted from 40 per cent nearly two decades ago to 13 per cent in 2006.

The South American nation’s successes have been propelled by “a clear political determination, shared by the majority,” she said.

Despite differences that occur in any democracy, Ms. Bachelet said, Chileans are united behind the understanding that economic growth, political democracy and social justice are its main goals.

ENDS

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