Rich countries attempting to reduce their debts are being urged not to forget their promises of financial aid to poorer nations.
The warning comes at a three-day summit in New York, where leaders are reviewing progress in meeting UN development goals by 2015.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the summit that budgets must “not be balanced on the backs of the poor”.
Speaking to euronews, the head of the International Monetary Fund had the same message.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn said: “Commitments made by rich countries must be kept. It’s absolutely scandalous to have a situation where promises were made by leaders, who benefited politically from that, and then in the end the money is not paid.”
“We know it’s complicated for these countries. When they have a budget to pass the first thing they cut is aid to developing nations and that’s a mistake. That must not happen. Morally, it shouldn’t happen, because we need to have these countries developing.”
The UN is confident goals to reduce poverty and hunger by half can be met by 2015, but it warns the world is behind on other important goals.