Governments, civil society and business groups have pledged an estimated $16 billion in new commitments to help attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“Today we did something special. We brought together a broad coalition for change,” UN Secretary General Ban-Ki -Moon told a news conference at the end of the day-long event, which he convened with General
Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto. The gathering “exceeded our most optimistic expectations,” he stated, noting that it generated an estimated $16 billion, including some $1.6 billion to bolster food security, more than $4.5 billion for education and $3 billion to combat malaria.
“If so, that expression of global commitment would be all the more remarkable because it comes against the backdrop of financial crisis,” the Secretary-General said, who recently said that soaring food and fuel prices and the global economic downturn were impeding advances in meeting the internationally agreed anti-poverty targets.
“Today, we have strengthened the global partnership for development,” Ban told participants at the event’s closing. “Your resolve to act is evident. Yes, you have stepped up to confront growing challenges. Now, I urge you to move with more speed and focus.”
Ban has called for a summit on the MDGs in 2010 to further assess the delivery of the commitments undertaken. D’Escoto said the new initiatives would inject new energy, resources and hope into the global efforts to achieve the goals.
“However, these good efforts, as important as they are, are not enough,” he noted.
“The only way we can alleviate the suffering of the world’s poor is by creating a sound and just international economic system,” he stated, urging participants to work towards progress on the stalled Doha round of trade liberalisation talks.
“Ultimately, all countries are responsible for their own development. But everyone must have fair opportunities to do so.” Nonetheless, he acknowledged the great strides made today.
6 months ago