Highlights: World leaders discuss U.N. poverty goals

UNITED NATIONS Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:52pm EDT

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - World leaders called on Tuesday for greater efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, to halve global poverty and hunger by 2015.

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL ON GOOD GOVERNANCE

"Sustainable development as well as economic and social progress are unthinkable without good governance and respect for human rights.

"The primary responsibility for development lies with the governments of the developing countries. It is in their hands whether aid can be effective. Therefore, support for good governance is as important as aid itself."

RWANDAN PRESIDENT PAUL KAGAME ON DEVELOPED WORLD, NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

"Despite their good intentions, their perspective is often predicated on paternalism not on partnership, on charity not on self-reliance, and on promises unfulfilled rather than real change on the ground.

"We in the developing world also could do more. We have to reflect deeply on how we have driven this agenda so far and why we are lagging behind on these targets. ... We must assume effective leadership."

ETHIOPIAN PRIME MINISTER MELES ZENAWI ON 'LOST OPPORTUNITIES'

"We need to do more and better than we have so far if we are to make up for lost opportunities over the years.

"There is no doubt in my mind that we in the developing world have to do more and better to take charge of our destiny, to design programs and strategies appropriate to our circumstances and mobilize our own resources as the primary means of achieving the MDGs."

LIBERIAN PRESIDENT ELLEN JOHNSON-SIRLEAF ON NEED FOR JOBS

"It is clear that (Africa) still has far to go, yet I know that if we intensify and focus our efforts we will ultimately achieve them.

"We must recognize the need for inclusive economic growth ... sustained growth that creates jobs especially for youth and that help the poor and in sectors that help women.

"Investing in agriculture, small-scale enterprises and infrastructure will help progress across all the MDGs."

CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER ON ACCOUNTABILITY

"Our discussions should be less about new agreements and more about accountability for existing ones, less about lofty promises than real results and less about narrow self-interest in sovereignty's name than an expanded view of mutual interest in which there is room for all to grow and prosper."

HAITIAN PRIME MINISTER JEAN-MAX BELLERIVE ON NGOS

"The contribution of NGOs is indispensable, it is welcome and it will continue to play a major role but it isn't a contribution that can substitute for that of the state permanently."

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC PRESIDENT LEONEL FERNANDEZ ON IMPACT OF FINANCIAL CRISIS, GLOBAL WARMING

"It is not lack of political will or lack of planning or accountability that will prevent the Dominican Republic from achieving some of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 as planned.

"Instead, this has been the result of unforeseen circumstances."

ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE ON SANCTIONS

"Even as our economy suffered from illegal sanctions imposed on the country by our detractors, we continued to deploy and direct much of our resources toward the achievement of the targets we set for ourselves."

IRANIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD ON GLOBAL CAPITALISM

"Now that the discriminatory order of capitalism and the hegemonic approaches are facing defeat and are getting close to their end, all-out participation in upholding justice and prosperous inter-relations is essential.

"The world is in need of an encompassing and of course just and human order in light of which the rights of all are preserved and peace and security are safeguarded."

FINNISH PRESIDENT TARJA HALONEN ON ROLE OF WOMEN

"The empowerment of women is crucial in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals but we need the commitment and contribution of both men and women.

"The recent decline in maternal mortality shows that we can make a difference."

(Compiled by Helen Popper)

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