Project director: Bircan ÜNVER,
Main representative of The Light Millennium to the
Department of Public Information of the United Nations.
Prepared by: Sirin CENGIZALP, Project Assistant, The Light Millennium.
GOAL 1: ERADICATE EXTREME POVERTY AND HUNGER
Millennium Development Goals/MDGs – Summit 2010
United Nations, New York City - 20-22 September 2010
-For the full statements of the MDGs Debate on September 20, 2010.
Below quotes are selected based on the given speeches by the member states on the “MDGs#1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger” within the context of the MDGs Summit-2010 at the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York City on September 20, 2010.
GUATEMALA: "Vision of nutritional and food security..."
- H.E. Mr. Alvaro Colom Caballeros, President of the Republic of Guatemala, High-level Plenary Meeting of the Sixty-Fifth Session of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals.
“The policies of my Government are aimed at consolidating the progress achieved while stepping up efforts to advance more rapidly with the fulfillment of those indicators that reveal insufficient growth or even an involution. At the same time, we are improving our capacity to measure results. For example, next year we will carry out a new study on living conditions. In the same vein, we have strengthened the monitoring and active vigilance at the community level of cases of malnutrition in order to improve our capacity to detect them and achieve an early intervention.
With the same level of determination, we have centered our efforts in working to reduce the incidence of chronic malnutrition and to address the crisis of extreme under nutrition, based on an integrated vision of nutritional and food security, which links attending to emergency situations to those interventions aimed at improving access, availability and better use of existing food for the population. In this effort, we have found unconditional support from the international community, and hope to be able to continue counting on same to accelerate meeting this vital goal of development. “
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- Hon. Bhim Bahadur Rawal, Minister for Home Affairs and the Leader of the Nepalese Delegation at the High-level Plenary Meeting of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
“Some of our successful national programs include, partnership for poverty eradication, community management of schools and forests; education related incentives for girl children from poor, marginalized and disadvantaged communities; adult literacy campaigns; provisions of social security; targeted development programs, immunization and maternal health related programs and progressive realization of the rights of women, including right to reproductive health.
Poverty and hunger compounded by continued food insecurity remain the fundamental challenge in our development efforts. Overcoming this challenge calls for innovative approaches matched by right institutions, adequate resources, committed programs, and justice and equity in sharing global resources, and above all, a stronger and committed global partnership. The business as usual approach will not be sufficient to address the root causes and multidimensional aspects of development challenges.”
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- His Majesty King Mswati III Head of State of the Kingdom of Swaziland to the 65th Session of the United Nations High-level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals.
“Whilst the Kingdom has made considerable progress towards achieving the MDGs we still face many challenges in our efforts to eradicate poverty and create better living conditions for our people.
For example as developing countries, we are faced with challenges such as job creation, unemployment, attracting and retaining foreign direct investment whilst promoting local investment and strengthening agro-business.
We also need to improve our manufacturing sector, tourism and small and medium enterprises, just to mention a few.
One of the crucial ways towards the eradication of extreme poverty is to stimulate agricultural development. In order to increase food production government is providing agricultural inputs, such as tractors, seeds and fertilizers to our farmers.
We are already seeing some improvement from this program where our rural farmers are able to till the land on time, since they had access to farm inputs.
However, we need more resources to construct dams, boreholes for both irrigation and household use countrywide.
Our aim is to ensure greater productivity with particular regard to growing our staple food on Swazi nation land. The nation is also working towards the diversification of agricultural exports and access to new markets.
Furthermore, primary school children are currently benefiting from feeding schemes whereby they are all provided with nutritious meal. Using our traditional structures, we have created neighborhood care points to enable the feeding of orphaned and vulnerable children throughout the country.”
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- H.E. Mrs. Micheline Calmy-Rey, Federal Councillor, General Assembly 65th Session, High-level Plenary Meeting Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields; and Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit, Swiss Statement.
“Perhaps, we have focused too much on the symptoms and not enough on the causes of poverty and destitution. To assist those suffering hardship is a fine and supportive gesture. But development, as we all know, goes much further than that. Development means creating the economic foundations for the improved well-being of all. For a poor country, is also means carving out a place in the production process and in global and regional trade, increasing agricultural production and improving food security.
Achieving the Millennium Goals remains an overriding concern. Switzerland will preserve with its full commitment to this aim. Our country’s development aid is concentrated essentially on the poorest nations, with its principal focus on sectors linked to the MDG.”
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Statement On Behalf of: H.E. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, On the Nigeria and the Millennium Development Goals: Progress Towards 2015 By Professor C.O. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Honourable Minister of Health, At the High Level Plenary Meeting of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly to review the Millennium Development Goals
“We have recorded a sustained growth in the economy, with real GDP growth rate averaging 6.5% in the last five years. The recent improvement in agricultural yields is also impacting on the proportion of underweight children, from 35.7% in 1990 to 23.1% in 2008. Nevertheless, we must admit that we are yet to record a sufficient rate of progress in reducing overall poverty. We have therefore recognized the need for more equitable and broad-based growth in order to facilitate a significant reduction in poverty in the country.
On the macroeconomic front, the debt relief negotiated by Nigeria in 2005 greatly impacted positively on our environment. The debt service ratio fell from 15.2% of exports in 2005 to 0.55% in 2009. Official Development Assistance per capita though still very low, has grown gradually with the inflows of global funding sources and bilateral assistance, and these are beginning to significantly impact in some MDG-related sub-sectors. Trade agreements unfortunately are still not equitable and continue to be a major constraint to exports and economic growth. The rapid spread of technology is yet to significantly bridge the digital divide as the latest available data reveal that while 41.6% of the population own a mobile phone, only 15.8% have access to the internet.”
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-H.E. Mr. Igor Luksic, Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro at the High-level Plenary Meeting of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
“Given the adverse impact of the global economic and financial crisis, stimulating economic growth, continuing structural reforms and promoting a dynamic private sector attractive for foreign and local investment in line with long-term purposes and principles of sustainable development and equitable and inclusive growth remains essential of achieving all the MDGs. This will call for investment of considerable additional resources in education, science and research programmes.”
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REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA
-H.E. Mr. Victor Bodiu, Minister of State, at the High-level Plenary Meeting of the Sixty-Fifth Session of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals.
“Moldova reached notable achievements in reducing poverty amid severe economic crisis. The Government succeeded to halt the increase of extreme and absolute poverty and even reverse the trend, through the efficient introduction and expansion of the needs-based social aid programme, increase of the accessibility to mandatory health insurance for most vulnerable.”
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- H.E. Mr. Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel.
“Without peace, poverty will remain. Without food – peace will not prevail. Statesmen have to mobilize political power to achieve peace. Scientists can enable the land produce more food. We developed an agriculture based on science. Our farmers produce 8-folds per acre compared with the nation’s early days. The need for water was cut in half. We employed desalination, recycling, drip and electronic irrigation and bioengineering to create new seeds and richer crops. Five decades ago, an Israeli farmer produced food for 15 persons. Today, he produces for 120.
I call upon this gathering to address the two burning challenges: first, to harness science and technology to increase food production. And second, to stand together against terror. A hungry world will never be peaceful.”
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-H.E. Mr. Islam Karimov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, at the Plenary Session of the UN Millennium Development Goals Summit.
“For over the years of independent development Uzbekistan with its one-sided hypertrophied, raw-based economy, destructive monopoly of cotton raw production, primitive production and social infrastructure and low per capita consumption level secured achievements which have entirely changed its image and place in the world community.
During these years the gross domestic product grew for 3.5 times and in per capita – for 2.5 times, the average salary – for 14 times. The expenditures of the state for social sphere and social protection have grown for more than 5 times. Annually, over 50 percent of the State budget is channeled to the social sphere.”
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- by His Excellency Mr. Kasit Piromya, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand at the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals
“Economic policies on agriculture and industry are also important to help alleviate poverty and hunger and in particular to ensure food security.”
- by His Excellency Mr. Kasit Piromya, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand at the General Debate of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly - New York 29 September 2010
“Our stimulus packages would benefit not only the overall economy but especially those who are economically and socially disadvantaged and disfranchised.
Of the problems of development, food security ranks as one of the most important. For lives to live, mouths must be fed. As a major food exporter, Thailand can contribute to ensure greater food security. We also believe in greater regional cooperation. The ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve stands as a model for other regions to emulate.”
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- by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco to the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Millennium Goals - New York, 20 September 2010
“This is precisely the course of action Morocco has embarked on. In 2005, we launched the National Initiative for Human Development. The Initiative rests on an inclusive, consultation-based approach, participatory democracy, a system of governance founded on close proximity to the citizens, as well as on a deep, active involvement of the actors concerned in the Initiative’s projects, which seek to address shortcomings in social development efforts by creating jobs and income generating activities.
Morocco has made much headway towards the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly with respect to fighting poverty, precariousness and social exclusion, and improving people’s living conditions in both urban and rural areas, especially by ensuring widespread access to electricity and drinking water.”
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- by H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan at the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly - New York 20 September 2010
“The country adopted The National Development Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan till 2015 (NDS). As the major strategic document of the country the NSD identifies priorities and major directions of the government policy aimed at achieving sustainable economic growth, easing access of the population to basic social services, and poverty reduction.”
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- by H.E. Abdullah Gul, President of the Republic of Turkey to the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the 65th Session of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals - New York 20 September 2010
“In recent years, we introduced ambitious and comprehensive social welfare programs to improve living standards of vulnerable segments of our society.
in recent years, more than five hundred thousand new houses have been built by the state-owned Housing Development Administration.”
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LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
- by H.E. Mr. Choummaly Sayasone, President of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic at the MDGs Summit 2010
New York 20 September 2010
“In 2003 the Lao Government adopted the National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy, which was later streamlined in the 6th five-year National Social-Economic Development Plan for 2006-2010.
By implementing the five-year plans, the Lao PDR has been able to achieve a sustained economic growth laying a strong foundation for the country to achieve important progress towards the MDGs. In the implementation of the 5th five-year Plan for 2001-2005, we achieved an annual economic growth rate of 6.2%, and by executing the 6th Plan for 2006-2010 it is expected that an annual economic growth rate of 7% will be attained constituting a key factor to poverty reduction from 48% recorded in 1990 down to 26% in 2009.”
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- by His Excellency Ngwazi Professor Bingu Wa Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi and Chairman of the African Union on 2010 Malawi MDGs Progress Report.
“Under eradicating extreme poverty, the measure of poverty head count has declined by 15 percent between 2000 and 2009 and the ultra poor population by nearly 9 percent in the same period. Notable among the reasons for this progress has been the continued targeted farm inputs subsidy programs; the MK 5 billion Malawi Rural Development Fund (MARDEF) to enhance income generating capacity of the poor households; the establishment of the One Village One Product (OVOP) Scheme to encourage people to get into value adding business; and the establishment of the MK 3 billion Youth Enterprise Development Fund.”
- by H.E. Mr. Boris Tadic, President of the Republic of Serbia
“While they are all interconnected and mutually reinforcing, I would like to focus my remarks on four of the, and how we have effectively synergized our efforts to meet them through Serbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy-itself an integral part of the Serbian Government’s efforts to achieve our central strategic priority: membership in the European Union.
Moreover, significant investments in healthcare, education and family care services have begun to pay off, with Serbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy being leveraged into a progressive recovery plan for jobs and growth, attracting additional foreign direct investment and modernizing infrastructure.
The absolute poverty rate was reduced by half in just five years. However, our work is not done yet. Poverty reduction amongst children is still a great challenge.”
REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA
- by His Honor LT. General Mompati S. Merafhe, the Vice president of the Republic of Botswana
“Botswana has made some progress towards eradicating extreme poverty as evidenced by the declining percentage of people living below the poverty datum line.
The percentage of people living below the poverty datum line declined from 47% in 1993 to an estimated 23% in 2009.
We firmly believe, as a Government, that there is no tolerable level of poverty.
To this end, different categories of vulnerable groups such as old age pensioners, destitute persons, orphans and vulnerable children as well as home based care patients, have access to food, education, subsistence allowance and other basic necessities of life.
Botswana has adopted a flagship programme on poverty eradication, which focuses on promoting broad-based growth for sectors that create opportunities for sustainable livelihoods.
The programme is geared at enhancing human capabilities of the poor through investing in, and strengthening institutions that promote poor people’s participations in the growth process.”
REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
- by H.E. Dr. Gjorge Ivanov, President of the Republic of Macedonia
“The Republic of Macedonia remains committed to reducing poverty and social exclusion. Therefore, we started with the preparation of a national strategy for social inclusion. I believe that this strategic framework will help us improve the social cohesion.”
- His Excellency Mr. Bens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway
“We have made progress. Hundreds of millions have been lifted out of desperate poverty.”
- by Honorable Tuila’epa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of the Independent State of Samoa
“Amongst these is the proportion of the populations living below the Basic Needs Poverty line, particularly if considered against the gains achieved in the overall economy through a growth oriented macroeconomic policy framework.”
- H.E. Yves LETERME, Prime Minister of Belgium
“Mrs. Gracia Mandela-Machel denounced this when she pointed out, and I quote: ‘the obscene gap between the many struggling poor and the few who are rich.’ She added: ‘the first world also exists in the southern hemisphere. There are rich people in Africa amidst abject poverty.’
Policies geared towards reaching the MDG’s must be policies geared towards inclusive development, policies that aim at the wide participation of citizens in wealth creation and at providing opportunities to the poor. This necessarily requires accountable, participatory and efficient governance, governance that enables people to have their say in the way they are governed, in the way decisions are made and implemented, in the way resources are allocated.”
- by Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh
“Projections indicate our success to lift 12 million people out of poverty by 2015, thereby, reducing poverty by half by then, as targeted in MDG-1.”
“Our success also include enhancing minimum dietary energy consumption, net enrollment in primary education, gender parity in primary and secondary education, reducing child and infant mortality, improving immunization coverage, rolling back malaria, controlling tuberculosis, low prevalence of HIV/AIDS, and improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation.”
UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA
- by Hon. Mizengo P. Pinda, Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania
“Poverty as measured by the proportion of population below one dollar a day has declined from 38.6 percent in 1991/1992 to 33.6 in 2006/2007 for Tanzania mainland and from 61 percent in 1990 to 49 percent in 2004 for Zanzibar. This decrease is not giving us much hope.
In Tanzania, more than 80 percent of the entire population, which is estimated to be 40 million, lives in rural areas. The 80 percent depend on Agriculture for their livelihoods. If we are to emancipate most Tanzanians from poverty, investments in agriculture are imperative.”
REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA
- by H.E. Georges Rebelo Chikoti, Secretary of State for External Relations of the Republic of Angola
“Shortly after the war ended in 2002, Angola started a broad National Reconstruction and Poverty Reduction Program. However, the international economic and financial crisis and the adverse effects of climate change have seriously affected the economic performance of most developing countries, and they have not spared the gigantic efforts that Angola had begun prior to that.
Moreover, in order to eradicate hunger and poverty, Angola has adopted the National Strategy for Food Security (2009-2014), a mechanism that will increase agricultural production in a sustainable manner.”
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
- by H.E. Reem Ibrahim AI Hashimi Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates
“We have exploited the revenue of oil to expand and diversify sources of national income and focus on the human development. We were able in a short period of time to achieve total eradication of poverty, raise the average income per capita to the highest levels in the world, and achieve gender equality and women empowerment.”
- by His Excellency Mr. Kamel Morjane Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs
“The increase in GDP reached 5% in the recent few years. Owing to sound policies of fair distribution of economic growth income, the poverty rate witnessed a sharp decline that brought it from 60% in 1960 to 7% in the mid nineties to reach 3.8% actually.
Among the various achievements in Tunisia, income continued to improve, poverty rate witnessed a sharp decrease and job creation continued to grow, thus improving living conditions in different areas and especially in rural ones, where a real progress in terms of accessibility to electricity and drinking water is noticeable.”
REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN
- by R.E. Mr, Elmar Mammadyarov Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan
“Azerbaijan has demonstrated the political will and has implemented a number of consecutive steps to eradicate the poverty. This was clearly stated in its first State Program for Poverty Reduction and Economic Development (SPPRED)/MDG report, and is reflected in the new State Program for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development (2008-2015). To this end, by successful implementation of the Program, we managed to reduce poverty rate from 29.3 in 2005 to 11 percent in 2010.
The state policy promotes measures on strengthening social and economic welfare of population, encouraging stronger private sector, increasing economic opportunities and improving quality of jobs, providing equal access to social protection and social services.
We give high priority to the elimination of unemployment. In this regard, the Government has launched the State Program on the Implementation of Employment Strategy and reduced the unemployment rate from 7.06 percent in 2005 to 6.0 percent in 2009.”
- by Hon. Alvin Bernard, Minister of State Ministry of Foreign Affairs
“Dominica has been able to make some major achievements in pursuit of the MDGs. We have been able to make these achievements through sound fiscal policy, strong political leadership and the hard work of our people. The developed countries, especially the member states of the European Union continue to be reliable partners in our development efforts. Partnerships have led to a marked decrease in household poverty in Dominica from 39% in 2002 to 28.8% in 2009. Per capita income has also moved from $11,430 in 2005 to $14,184 in 2008.”
CZECH REPUBLIC - Where are we now?
- by H.E. Mr. Tomas Dub, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
“We appreciate ongoing projects such as for example the UN Global Compact and Millennium Villages which puts emphasis on the involvement of the private sector in the MDGs program – and not only in financial terms but also in terms of ensuring decent working conditions and respect for human rights within the society."
“We are convinced that official development assistance or measures to curb inflation and public debt are not only way to eradicate poverty. What is needed here is a combination of measures encouraging employment, fiscal and monetary stabilization with a countercyclical effect, mobilization of domestic resources and good governance. We believe that these measures together with concrete mechanisms of mutual accountability and policy coherence for development are crucial to sustainable development of many countries. We have therefore identified these topics as priority sectors in the new Strategy of Development Cooperation and Strategy of Transition Policy of the Czech Republic.
The transition experience gained by the Czech Republic in the past period gives us a comparative advantage in development issues, as it has been acknowledged even by the OECD and EU. Our expertise can help developing countries in creating their public sector reform strategies, in building democratic governance, institutionalization and the rule of law, in the fight against tax evasion and in other fiscal reform matters.”
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MEXICO - Accomplishments:
“The advances achieved in social development are the consequence of a solid institutional framework that allows Mexico to undertake a National social policy, sustained by, among others: instruments of planning, accountability and evaluation; laws; inter-institutional coordination and Registers of beneficiaries of social programs. It also follows a growing social expense that by Law it cannot be inferior to last year's expense.
It is my honor to inform in this Session that, in the framework of the Youth International Year, Mexico hosted the World Youth Conference from 23 to 27 August. Its outcome, the "Guanajuato Declaration", which was endorsed by 112 countries, underlines the importance of the achievement of the MDG's for youth and presents a series of recommendations to address the needs of this population group integrally and transversally.
Where are we now?
“For Mexico, the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals constitutes a commitment of State. This is why, both nationally and internationally, Mexico has taken decisive actions to reach them, assuming that if they are concrete goals that allow us to organize our efforts, the MDG's constitute only a basic framework, a minimum necessary to guarantee that our most vulnerable populations can live better.
For Mexico it is an honor and great satisfaction to reiterate that the Millennium Development Goals are a constitutive component of Social Policy. From the beginning of the millennium, Mexico counts on the Seguro Popular (Popular Insurance) to offer health services to all Mexicans that for several reasons do not or did not contribute to the social security system, recognizing that health is a social and not a labor right. By 2012, all Mexicans without exception will have access to a doctor, medicines and treatment when needed: Mexico will be reaching universal health coverage, which is a priority of the social policy of President Felipe Calderon.”
Mexico relies on the strategy "Vivir MejoP (Living better) to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. This strategy allows us to firmly move towards the achievement of the Millennium Goals through the following lines of action:
First. The development of basic skills of Mexicans sustained on actions on food, health, education, housing and social infrastructure.
Second. The consolidation of a social protection network, so that Mexicans can face diverse contingencies, like accidents, diseases or material loss caused by natural disasters.
Third. The establishment of bridges that connect the social and economic policies, with the purpose of increasing the capacities and skills of Mexicans, to successfully include them in the economic development.
2010 is a key year to demonstrate our commitment to face the global challenge of climate change. We have to move as forward as possible in the process of building an agreement that allows us to stabilize global temperature.
“Mexico registers important advances in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. It is my pleasure to inform you that we have achieved in advance the goal set for 2015 of reducing by half the percentage of people with incomes lower than a dollar a day.”
-For the full statements of the MDGs Debate on September 20, 2010.