UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged world leaders to provide the necessary investment, aid and political will to end extreme poverty.
Addressing scores of Heads of State and Government at the opening of a three-day summit at UN General Assembly (UNGA) on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Ban said there was no global project more worthwhile. "Let us send a strong message of hope. Let us keep the promise."
The high-level meeting of the general assembly is being held to take stock of the progress so far towards the MDGs - which include slashing poverty, combating disease, fighting hunger, protecting the environment and boosting education - and to determine what else needs to be done to reach the goals by their target date of 2015.
South Africa, represented by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, is also participating in the UNGA. The minister will use the session as to lobby and present the bid to be elected to the non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council, and present South Africa's position on the global issues.
She will also advocate for dialogue among stakeholders for the fulfilment of the pledges to effect progress in fighting poverty and sustaining the gains already made.
Ban noted that real results have been made since the MDGs were devised in 2000 including a dramatic increase in school enrolment rates, expanded access to clean water and greater control of diseases.
"We have more development success stories than ever before. The transformative impact of the MDGs is undeniable. This is an achievement we can proud of, but we must protect these advances, many of which are still fragile. And the clock is ticking, with much more to do." - BuaNews