On an official visit to the Dominican Republic today, Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised the country's progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of global antipoverty targets adopted at a United Nations summit meeting held in 2000.
“I think the way you are approaching it here, getting the communities involved, giving them technology, giving them clean water, looking after health, education and sanitation, is the way to go,” the Secretary-General said after viewing a video presentation at the National Palace in Santo Domingo. “You are heading the right way and you are setting a model here which I think will be of great interest to many countries in this region and around the world.”
Thanking the President and First Lady as well as the Dominican Government and people for embracing the MDGs and using them to reenergize development activities in the country, he pledged the UN's continued partnership in that endeavour.
Looking to the broader context, he emphasized that development is essential to achieving peace and security. “You cannot have security without development, and you cannot have development without security and you cannot enjoy either one for the longer term, unless there is respect for human rights and the rule of law,” he said.
“These three pillars reinforce each other, and this is the work of the United Nations: security, economic and social development and respect for human rights, and any programme that is built on these three principles – and we intend to reinforce – them is bound to succeed.”