Secretary-General calls on leaders to attend
Millennium Development Goals summit next September
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on world leaders to attend a summit next September to boost efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Coming amid mixed progress toward the Goals and new crises that threaten the global effort to halve extreme poverty, “the summit will be a crucially important opportunity to redouble our efforts to meet the Goals,” he said, referring to the targets adopted at the UN Millennium Summit of 2000, aimed at slashing poverty, hunger, disease, maternal and child deaths and other ills by a 2015 deadline.
“I declared 2010 to be the year of development,” Mr. Ban said at a recent press encounter. “We need to focus attention and accelerate the process to achieve, to realize, the goals of the MDGs by the target year, 2015. We have only six years left before 2015.”
The UN General Assembly has agreed that the summit, or high-level plenary meeting, will be held on 20-22 September, just prior to the start of the Assembly’s annual General Debate, which usually brings dozens of heads of State and government to New York. In its resolution adopted on 21 December 2009, the Assembly also set out the format of the summit, with statements in the plenary running concurrently with six round tables on a range of issues. Interactive hearings with civil society are to be held in the lead-up to the summit.
“In the decade since the Goals were first agreed, we have learned a great deal about what works, and where we need to focus our efforts,” Mr. Ban said. “Evidence shows that the Goals can be achieved, even in the poorest countries, when good policies and projects are backed by adequate resources.”
He noted that the MDGs have triggered unprecedented efforts worldwide in the fight against poverty, hunger, disease and environmental destruction, but stressed that “we can and must do more, especially given the growing impact of climate change, increasing global hunger, and continuing fallout from the economic and financial crisis.”
He urged the heads of State and government to engage fully in ensuring a successful, practical, action-oriented outcome that delivers results for the billions of people struggling to meet their basic needs and to live in dignity and peace.” “We are ready to act, ready to deliver, and ready to make 2010 a year of results for people,” the Secretary-General said.