Assembly chief proposes annual meetings to chart progress on anti-poverty goals

4 April 2008 –

The General Assembly should meet every year until 2015 to take stock of the progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to hold all partners to account for the commitments they have made to fight poverty and other ills, its President Srgjan Kerim said today at the conclusion of this week’s special debate on the issue.

Mr. Kerim told the debate participants that while it was clear that significant progress has been made since world leaders pledged in 2000 to try to achieve the Goals, it has been uneven and still too slow, despite the availability of solutions.

“The key issue that we all have to deliver on our commitments, scale-up our efforts and accelerate progress,” he said this morning as he wrapped up the four-day debate, adding that Africa and the world’s least developed countries (LDCs) need additional long-term assistance from the international community if they are to catch up.

Mr. Kerim stressed that one point made repeatedly throughout this week’s debate was that “delivering on our commitments is a priority and that delivering results a necessity.

“Donors need to provide the additional aid and debt relief that they have promised. And, developing countries need to integrate the Millennium Development Goals into national development plans, and speed up implementation of other commitments, including better governance.”

He noted that many delegations have already endorsed his proposal for the annual meetings to chart progress worldwide.

In addition to the meetings, the President called on the 192-member Assembly to mandate the UN Secretariat and the relevant UN funds, programmes and agencies to provide an annual MDG global monitoring report analyzing implementation across all countries.

On 22 September at UN Headquarters in New York, UN Member States will gather for a major meeting on the MDGs, with the focus on Africa’s specific development needs.

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