Press Releases

    SG/SM/9429
                            23 JULY 2004

    Secretary-General Urges Developed World to Offer Debt Relief, End “Scandal” of Unfair Agricultural Trade, in Message on Global Anti-Poverty Goals

    NEW YORK, 22 July (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s 21 July video message [for northern 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 to all, and stop the spread of deadly diseases such as AIDS.

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

    We can do all this -- but only if everyone, rich and poor alike, does his or her part.

    We need poor countries to improve their governance, and to build up their human resources.

    We need rich countries to give more aid, and make it more effective.  We need them to offer more debt relief and trade opportunities, and to end the scandal of unfair competition in agricultural trade -- which denies poor-country farmers their best chance to earn a decent living.

    Every day we don’t act, real people suffer.  If the goals are not met, we will all be poorer, and less secure.

    Ultimately, it is you -- the concerned citizens of the world -- who must hold your leaders accountable.  They promised to be true partners for development.  Your voices can hold them to those pledges.  Your votes can help millions of people break free from the trap of extreme poverty.

    I know we can build a safer, more just world.  But there is no time to waste.  So let us get to work!

    Thank you very much.

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