PM Douglas to address Millennium Development Goals Summit

PM Douglas at 64th UNGA in 2009.

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas will address a High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations on the Millennium Development Goals, in New York on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Douglas is among World Leaders who will address the Summit which began Tuesday in New York.

United Nations Secretary General His Excellency Ban ki-moon  in welcoming the 140 Heads of State and Government said this impressive numbers of leaders were in New York because the fight for a more prosperous, stable and equitable world is at the heart itself of the mission of the United Nations.

“We are here because 10 years ago, meeting here at the highest level, the international community promised to spare no effort to free the entire human race from want,” said the Secretary General.

He noted that the eight Millennium Development Goals were a breakthrough and together a blueprint was created for ending extreme poverty.

“We defined achievable targets and timetables. We established a framework that all partners, even those with different views, have been able to embrace. We brought new urgency to an age-old mission.  And now we have real results; new thinking and path-breaking public-private partnerships; dramatic increases in school enrolment; expanded access to clean water; better control of disease; the spread of technology — from mobile to green,” he said.

He said there were more development success stories than ever before and the transformative impact of the Millennium Development Goals is undeniable as this is an achievement that the UN can be proud of.

“But we must protect these advances, many of which are still fragile.  And the clock is ticking, with much more to do. There is more to do for the mother who watches her children go to bed hungry — a scandal played out a billion times each and every night.  There is more to do for the young girl weighed down with wood or water when instead she should be in school.  And more to do for the worker far from home in a city slum, watching jobs and remittances disappear amid global recession,” said Mr. Ban.

“You all know where we stand — the gaps and the gains, what works and what doesn’t work.  The reports we have put before you are filled with statistics, analysis and recommendations — everything we need for effective policies and programmes. We have led you to the river.  So what are we asking of you today?  To stay true.  True to our identity as an international community built on a foundation of solidarity.  True to our commitment to end the dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty,” said the United Nations Secretary General.

Calling for the making of smart investments in infrastructure, small farmers, social services, and above all, in women and girls, the UN Secretary General said he will launch on Wednesday a Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health — our best chance for a multiplier effect across the Goals.

“Being true means supporting the vulnerable despite the economic crisis.  We should not balance budgets on the backs of the poor.  We must not draw back from official development assistance — a life-line of billions, for billions,” said the UN Chief.

He said it means truly fair trade and action on climate change as deferring the tough decisions to future climate conferences — and future generations — only increases the costs. “We need to set a course towards sustainable practices. Being true means addressing inequality, both among and within countries.  Even in countries that have registered impressive gains, inequality eats away at social cohesion. And it means reconsidering conventional wisdom.  Recovery from the economic crisis should not mean a return to the flawed and unjust path that got us into trouble in the first place,” said Mr. Ban.

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