Press Releases

     

    SG/SM/9078
    16 December 2003

    ACHIEVING MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS REQUIRES
    EVERYONE TO JOIN FORCES, SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS
    IN MESSAGE TO POVERTY SOCCER GAME

    NEW YORK, 15 December (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the poverty soccer game in Basel today, delivered by Mark Malloch Brown, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):

    It’s time to score goals for development.  Poverty, hunger and disease affect hundreds of millions of lives and kill a child every three seconds.  But we have a plan of action to change this.  To set the twenty-first century on the right track, all Member States of the United Nations have agreed on eight essential goals to be reached by 2015.  These Millennium Development Goals, ranging from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education -- all by the target date of 2015 -- form a blueprint for building a better world in the twenty-first century.  They represent a set of simple but powerful objectives that every man and woman in the street, from Basel to Bangkok, from Bamako to Buenos Aires, can easily support and understand.

    Achieving these goals is not a task for governments alone.  It requires everyone to join forces.  I commend Ronaldo and Zidane on their initiative today, and I thank the many football players who have given their time and talent.  Efforts like yours encourage all of us -- individuals, governments, organizations, communities and business -- to find ways of teaming up for a world in which all people can achieve their full potential.  If all of us play to our individual strengths, we can make a winning team in the fight against poverty.

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