UN chief warns clock ticking on poverty pledge

UN chief acknowledges shortfalls that have beset 8 major goals set at Millennium summit 10 yrs ago.

New York: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called on the world to recommit to achieving the Millennium Development Goals of cutting extreme poverty and improving health that have been badly hit by the financial crisis.

"The clock is ticking, there is much more to do," Ban said at the start of the three day summit at the UN headquarters in New York.

He acknowledged the delays and shortfalls that have beset the eight major goals set at the Millennium summit 10 years ago but said that despite the economic and financial crisis the world has a duty to lift billions of people in Africa and Asia out of the "dehumanizing condition of extreme poverty."
"Recovery from the economic crisis should not mean a return to the flawed and unjust past," he told the summit.

The summit in 2000 set eight major development goals to be achieved by 2015, which include cutting the number of people living on less than one dollar a day by half.

They also aim to achieve universal primary education, eliminate gender disparity in education, reduce by two thirds the mortality rate of children under five and cut the number of women who die during pregnancy or childbirth by three quarters.
Experts say that none of the eight goals are currently on target for 2015.

About 140 heads of state and government are to attend the summit which is to seek tens of billions of dollars to finance a new campaign and a new political strategy.

Bureau Report