Achieving UN development goals by 2015 still feasible, says Secretary-General

UN Radio interviews Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

16 September 2008 – The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets agreed upon by world leaders in 2000, are still on course to be achieved by their 2015 deadline, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

“If we are united in mobilizing political will and necessary resources, I think we can achieve these Goals by 2015,” Mr. Ban told UN Radio and the News Centre.

Mr. Ban pointed to a report entitled Millennium Development Goals Report 2008 he issued last week, which notes that progress has been made in some areas such as education, with primary school enrolment rising in most areas, while gaps remain in others such as sub-Saharan Africa where the number of people living on less than $1 may not be halved.

Characterizing the targets as the “blueprint for the 21st century,” the Secretary-General said the sole purpose of the 25 September high-level conference on the MDGs is so “galvanize political will and [to] try to mobilize the necessary resources with the strong help from governments, the business community and the civil community.”

At the event, he said he would urge leaders to “recommit their political will and recharge energy and resources” towards achieving the Goals.

Those efforts, Mr. Ban said, should be spearheaded by rich countries, which have the technology, the funding needed and the knowledge to assist their less wealthy counterparts.

“All the countries in the world, particularly those developing countries, should be able to get on board” with steps towards realizing the MDGs, he added.

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