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Africa's Dev Focus Of Deputy Sec.-General's Trip

Africa's development focus of Deputy Secretary-General's trip to Ethiopia

Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro is heading to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she will be participating in a regional meeting between the United Nations, the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

"It will be her first participation at a meeting of this type to emphasize the importance the UN attaches to regional cooperation and to the role played by regional commissions in promoting development," UN Spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.

There will be a focus on post-conflict reconstruction in countries such as Burundi and Sierra Leone, which are already on the agenda of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, set up a year ago to help countries emerging from conflict avoid sliding back into war.

During the meeting, Ms. Migiro will have the opportunity to consult with the AU, NEPAD and the UN Economic Commission for Africa on the new Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Africa Steering Group.

Launched by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September, the Steering Group is designed to boost Africa's efforts to achieve the MDGs - the set of ambitious targets the world has set itself for slashing poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy and other social ills by 2015. Ms. Migiro chairs the Working Group for the initiative.

Earlier this year, the Deputy Secretary-General noted that despite faster growth and strengthened institutions, Africa remains off-track to meeting the MDGs, urging greater international support for the continent.


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