UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned Wednesday of an "enormous backlog of deprivation" and called for global efforts to fight extreme poverty.
Addressing the 60th General Assembly Meeting on Financing for Development, the UN chief said despite a "dramatic" reduction in poverty levels over the past 25 years, international solidarity had "still fallen well short of need."
"Our challenge now is to transform the breakthroughs of the past few years into a Monterrey-based performance pact," he said.
He said this means, at the national level, states must practice good governance, mobilize domestic resources, and devise strategies to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other development objectives.
For the international community, he stressed, it means supporting those steps through wide-ranging global reforms, more and better aid, trade policies that give a fair chance to developing countries, more investment in the world's poorest countries and opening up institutions to allow the developing world to have a greater voice.
Annan expressed the hope the summit will serve as a real catalyst for development advances the international community has been seeking for many years.
President Vicente Fox of Mexico, the host country of Monterrey Conference four years ago, urged the participants to make utmost efforts to ensure the cooperative arrangement for development designed at Monterrey bear fruit in the shortest possible time.
He welcomed the fact that some developed countries are achieving the goals of allocating 0.7 percent of their gross national product to development assistance, but pointed out that the even if this important goal is reached, it will not guarantee the eradication of poverty from the earth.
"A core issue is the need to improve the effectiveness of aid. Donors need to harmonize resource allocation procedures, align aid with each receiving country's priorities, and focus it on the reduction of poverty," he said.
More than 30 heads of state and government and senior executives from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other major UN agencies, spoke at the meeting either for their own countries or on behalf of major regional groups, such as the Group of 77, the European Union and the African Union.
The meeting came at a time when the implementation of the MDGs has reached a crucial stage of progress assessment and renewed practical efforts to ensure that the targets be met by the year 2015. World leaders availed themselves of the opportunity to engage in in-depth discussion on implementing the Monterrey Consensus and MDGs.
(Xinhua News Agency September 15, 2005)