Reuters Alert Net published this the following preview of the next big meeting. Writer Lesley Wroughton resets how far the world has come in meeting the MDGs, and gives some spin from the UN Secretary General.
A new World Bank study shows that one of the major goals -- halving global poverty by 2015 -- is likely to be met.
Much of the progress reflects rising wealth in emerging China and India, but that prosperity has reached little of Africa, where 38 percent of the population is likely to live below the poverty line in 2015.
There has been far less progress toward meeting the goals of reducing hunger and malnutrition, improving gender equality, access to health care and education, tackling climate change and helping mothers and their newborns, the report said.
With the global economic recovery still fragile and rich nations cutting aid budgets to help reduce their debt, questions have arisen over whether the goals are realistic.
For the poor, the global financial and economic crisis was exacerbated by soaring prices for food and fuel and job losses that have led to a decline in the remittances overseas workers return to their homelands.
In a Reuters interview, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon defended the draft UN declaration for global action to meet the poverty goals after aid agencies said it lacked specifics.
"You need to be realistic," he said. "This outcome document is the maximum and best we could expect at this time ... We need to always base our policies and priorities by considering the realities on the ground," he said. [ID:nN14145844]
The summit, which will be addressed by leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, precedes the annual U.N. General Assembly.