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Tanzanian President Urges Rich Countries to Honor Commitment on MDGs

Tanzanian President Benjamin William Mkapa on Wednesday urged the developed countries to honor their commitment to help their counterparts in the developed world attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


Addressing the UN summit that opened Wednesday, he said the international community cannot turn its backs on the basic human rights, the right to life in dignity, which is embodied in the MDGs. Instead, it should renew its commitment, individually and collectively to attaining them.


He noted that for too long there have been debates about whether the solution to poverty in Africa and elsewhere is more money. While acknowledging it is not simply a question of money, the president said without money, few strategies, if any, would succeed. He argued that good governance is necessary, but alone it would not eradicate poverty.


He said the developing countries are not blaming rich and industrialized countries for everything that is wrong or unfulfilled. What they are asking of them is a new commitment to keep their word, he added.


Developing countries must, on their part, fulfill their commitments to mobilize domestic resources, to reform institutions to respond to national priorities, and to adopt effective, nationally owned economic and social polices to spur economic growth. The broader commitments to democracy, human rights and good governance must also be discharged, he stressed.


On their part, developed countries must fulfill their responsibilities by increasing the flow, and improving the effectiveness of development assistance, he said.


"Aid is not charity; it is investment in peace, security and human solidarity," he said.


Heads of state and government from more than 150 countries are gathering at the UN headquarters in New York for the three-day summit.


(Xinhua News Agency September 15, 2005)


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