Press Releases

    SG/SM/9428
                            23 JULY 2004

    Developing Countries Must Integrate Anti-Poverty Goals into Policy, Budgets, Improve Governance Says Secretary-General in Video Message

    NEW YORK, 22 July (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s 21 July video message [for southern audiences] on the Millennium Development Goals:

    Dear Friends,

    You are here today because you believe in a better world.  So do I.

    Today, it is fully within our power to eradicate poverty and hunger.

    We can provide education for all, and stop the spread of diseases such as AIDS.

    We have the resources, the know-how, to achieve these and other Millennium Development Goals, all by the year 2015.

    But we have a long way to go.  I always remind rich countries to act on their commitments on aid, debt relief and trade opportunities.

    Today, as I talk to you, citizens of developing countries, I would like to stress the primary responsibility of your governments to achieve the first seven goals -- covering poverty, hunger, education, health, the environment and women’s rights.

    We must ask ourselves: do we have our own house in order -- to meet these promises?  Sadly, too many of us do not.

    Developing countries must do more to integrate the global goals into policies, plans and budgets. Only when the goals are owned at the national level; and only when resources are invested in them, will they be translated into services and benefits for the poor.

    There is also a need for more transparent and accountable governance. Only when citizens, parliaments and media work in concert will corruption be rooted out, and governments be held to account. 

    Time is short.  In September 2005, your leaders will assemble at the United Nations, where they are likely to ask, “why are we not meeting these goals?”  You can and must ask them the same question.

    Thank you very much.

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