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UN representative says WEDDC a chance to forge partnerships
( 2003-11-06 21:23) (Xinhua)

The World Economic Development Declaration Conference (WEDDC) "is an opportunity to forge the partnerships... that are essential if we are to bring real, positive change into the lives of the poor," said Khalid Malik, the special representative of United Nations Secretary- General Kofi Annan, on Thursday.

Malik, who is also UN Resident Coordinator and UN Development Program Resident Representative in China, made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the two-day WEDDC.

The partnerships should be established "in particular among governments, private sector enterprises and civil society groups," Malik said, reading a message from Annan to the conference.

Three years ago, in adopting the Millennium Declaration, world leaders identified global poverty as the most daunting task of all the problems facing the world in the new century, and resolved to tackle it at the national and global levels, including through a series of clear development targets - the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he said.

The MDGs include eight commitments such as halving abject poverty, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, providing universal primary education, promoting gender equality and fighting environmental degradation.

The MDGs are not just "wishful thinking," but also "technically feasible" even in the relatively short time allowed, the UN official said.

"The United Nations and its partners are mounting a major effort to promote progress towards the MDGs - through new operational support to developing countries," Malik said.

The MDGs are both "a tool" and "a test" - the developing countries must undertake a series of reforms and liberate the creative energies of their people, while the developed countries must support these steps with new aid commitments, debt relief and equitable trade rules, he said.

Malik called upon everyone in the world to respond positively to the MDGs for the well-being of mankind and the world's peace and development.

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