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Ban: UN millennium goals can be met

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Ban: UN millennium goals can be met

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A UN summit to review its Millennium Development Goals has opened in New York with a rallying call that its objectives to eradicate poverty, disease and hunger can still be met. World leaders present include France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso and Iran’s Mahmoud Amadinejad.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told delegates that it was not impossible to meet the 2015 targets agreed ten years ago but more work needed to be done. He said that governments should not slash aid spending despite the recent global economic turmoil.

Ban said: “We should not balance budgets on the backs of the poor.”

The eight UN millennium Goals include: cutting child mortality rates, promoting gender equality, combating HIV/AIDS and stamping out extreme poverty and hunger.

Euronews reporter Valérie Gauriat, who is at the summit, said: “World leaders have to face more than 900 million hungry people this week. Experts are focusing their attention on the final document, expected on Wednesday, but many already regret the absence of a concrete action plan in order to recover the time lost to reach 2015 objectives.”