Millennium Summit goals are reachable UN expert says at Monterrey forum

The lofty economic and social targets set two years ago at a landmark summit of world leaders can be achieved with sufficient help and political will, a senior aide to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan told a news conference today at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico. Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Harvard, who is Mr. Annan’s Special Adviser on the Millennium Development Goals, noted that besides political will, there were many keys to success, particularly financial backing, good blueprints and effective implementation.The power of global debate and analysis had also become apparent in formulating new approaches to international development assistance, and rich countries, including the United States, were stepping up in a way that many had not done for a long time, added Mr. Sachs. The Goals are eight key objectives set out in the Millennium Declaration endorsed in September 2000 by over 160 world leaders at the UN Millennium Summit in New York. The Goals comprise time-bound targets to improve health, education and the environment across the world, with the overarching goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015.Mr. Sachs said consensus had been reached on the need to spend vastly more money ($27 billion) on health and predicted that the Secretary-General’s new Global Fund against HIV/AIDS would prove to be one of the most innovative mechanisms.Hopefully, global communities would form consensus on the other development goals, such as reducing hunger, providing access to clean water, resettling slum dwellers and protecting the environment, Mr. Sachs added.In other activities at the Conference, government ministers and other representatives from the business community and civil society continued a series of roundtable discussions on today’s theme of “Coherence in Development.”

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