Monday, September 20, 2010

First pledge of new aid comes from France

The first pledge has been announced from the United Nations Millennium Development Goals summit. France President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to increase aid by 20 percent to the world's poor. Sarkozy urged world leaders to join him in increasing aid and not to fall back into "old habits."

From this Associated Press article that we found at WOI-TV in Des Moines, writer Edith Lederer gives us this round-up of the mornings speeches.

"We have no right to do less than what we have decided to do," Sarkozy told the assembled leaders. He also said the world body should join in creating a small international tax on financial transactions that would go toward ending poverty and meeting other millennium goals.

Sarkozy said France currently donates 10 billion euros a year.

"The financial crisis is severe in the rich countries, it creates deficits," he said, "but its consequences are far worse for the poor countries."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the summit with a call to the assembled presidents, prime ministers and kings to use their power to meet U.N. goals to help the world's poorest by 2015.

Ten years after world leaders set the most ambitious goals ever to tackle global poverty, they are gathered again to spur action to meet the deadline - which the U.N. says will be difficult, if not impossible, in some cases.

General Assembly President Joseph Deiss called the session to order, saying: "We must achieve the Millennium Development Goals. We want to achieve them. And we can achieve them."

For centuries, the plight of the world's poor had been ignored but with the turn of the new millennium, leaders pledged to begin tackling poverty, disease, ignorance and inequality.

Israeli President Shimon Peres said peace and full stomachs were key to erasing poverty.

"We share the burden of saving the world from war and hunger. Without peace, poverty will remain. Without food, peace will not prevail," he said.


Anonymous said...

Of the eight goals, the UN agrees that the goal of halving poverty and hunger and cutting in half the number of people without clean water will be met. But, to date about 1 million people are still without access to safe water and more than 2.6 billion lack access to basic sanitation.

Ger Bergkamp, Director General of the World Water Council writes in the article "Ending Povert with Water": "While a few countries may reach the water and sanitation targets, insufficient emphasis is put on the role of water to reach the Millennium Development Goals [...] At the UN summit, world leaders need to recognize that improving access to water and sanitation benefits the capacity to reach all of the MDGs. There is a clear correlation between clean water, basic sanitation, ending extreme poverty and socio-economic development. In many ways, providing access to safe water is a catalyst for broader change and development." (

MFC said...

The fact that every human being needs food, water, shelter and medical care is not a difficult concept to grasp. It is so obvious that it cannot be denied. But ensuring that everyone has these things seems to be a task we are unwilling to undertake. That is why we need to embrace the idea of basic human rights. These are the necessities of life that should be guaranteed by law for everyone, everywhere with absolutely no exceptions. We have to commit ourselves to the principal that all of humanity deserves these basic considerations. We have to enforce the laws protecting human rights because if we fail to do so people will suffer and die. Human rights are not optional. They are as important as food and water. Without them people cannot expect to lead healthy lives filled with meaning and hope.