Press Releases

    18 October 2005

    UN Must Never Lose Sight of Poorest, most Vulnerable, General Assembly President Says in Message in Day for Poverty Eradication

    NEW YORK, 17 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message by General Assembly President Jan Eliasson (Sweden) on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October:

    Extreme poverty remains a daily reality for more than a billion people who subsist on less than $1 a day.  And half the peoples of the world are living on less than $2 a day.  This is unacceptable.

    The theme of today's International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is: "Achieving the MDGs:  Empowering the poorest of the poor".  This is a worthy focus.  The United Nations must never lose sight of those who rely on us most:  the poorest and most vulnerable in the world.

    2005 has been a year of increased momentum for the cause of poverty eradication.  This was evident at the World Summit, where leader after leader from all over the world stressed the importance of stepping up action on development.

    We now have a clearer sense than ever before of what needs to be done to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  We have seen new commitments, both from developing countries and donors.  We know that there must be a rapid acceleration of efforts if the goals are to be met, particularly in much of sub-Saharan Africa.

    As 2005 draws to a close, the challenge before us is fourfold:

    -- The commitments made this year must be implemented.

    -- The trade talks in Hong Kong must deliver an outcome which advances the cause of development.

    -- The momentum generated this year must be maintained and built upon.

    -- And we must ensure that the full story about poverty in the world -- both the enormous unmet needs, but also the progress many developing countries are making -- is heard.

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