World has chance to end extreme poverty for good - Cameron

 
David Cameron, flanked by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Mr Cameron said all countries had an obligation to contribute to the global fight against poverty

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David Cameron has said there is a "real opportunity" to end extreme global poverty within the next few decades.

The prime minister said politicians had been talking about the goal for years but "this generation" had a chance of fulfilling the long-held ambition.

He was speaking after hosting a meeting of politicians from around the world to discuss anti-poverty strategies.

Mr Cameron has been asked by the UN to look into how poverty in developing countries should be tackled after 2015.

On Thursday, he co-chaired the first meeting of the United Nations panel, along with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

'Great progress'

After the meeting, attended by 26 countries, Mr Cameron said "great progress" had been made since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals in the late 1990s but the international community must aspire to do even more.

All countries had obligations to do their bit to help meet the anti-poverty targets, he added - citing the need for the UK and other wealthier countries to be transparent about how their aid budget are spent.

"The principle aim of the panel should be finishing the job of ending extreme poverty...That is something that politicians have been talking about for a while but for the first time I think this generation really has the opportunity to do it."

Analysis

The process begun in London should be completed by May when the "High Level Panel" reports to the UN secretary-general.

The London meeting is the first of three to be held in the capital cities of the three co-chairs, representing a spread of countries in terms of wealth.

Between the meetings, a separate process will go on to put ideas on paper, which one seasoned observer described as a "massive fight" over what should be in the final plan, who pays and how independent the successors to the MDGs will be of the UN.

Progress on the Millennium Development Goals has been patchy.

The UN says that for the first time the number of people living in extreme poverty is falling in every region of the world but the first MDG, cutting in half the proportion of people living in poverty, has been reached mainly because of the economic growth of China.

The Millennium Development Goals, set to be completed by 2015, are pledges by UN member countries to increase living standards in poorer parts of the world.

The first of them - reducing poverty among some of the very poorest - has been achieved, due largely to big increases in income in recent years in China and India. But attempts to reach other goals have been less successful.

Mr Cameron said there needed to be a renewed focus on tackling the causes of poverty - highlighting the importance of reducing corruption, promoting the rights of women and minorities and backing freedom of expression and association.

The panel will meet again in Monrovia and Jakarta next year, before reporting to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.

Most of the other attendees of the London gathering are ministers from foreign governments or heads of economic committees.

The Indonesian president, who is on a three-day state visit to Britain, said the UN panel had a "common vision" over how to respond to the challenges facing the developed and developing world.

"I believe that poverty eradication can only be achieved by raising the living standards of the poor around the world.

"This can be done by creating job opportunities and providing accessible and affordable health services, education facilities, housing, clean water and sanitation."

BBC international development correspondent David Loyn said that in finding a successor for the Millennium Development Goals, China and some African countries will want to stop what they see as further interference into governance.

But the big donor nations in the West will need guarantees of transparency and better accountability for governments who receive aid, if aid is to continue, our correspondent added.

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 531.

    515. ChubbyPandas "How selfish can you get "sort our house out before the rest of the world". You are one of pretty much an entire nation of greedy, self centered Brits"

    It is not selfish to say this. It make economical sense.

    When everything is ok at home one can think of putting money into a collection tin for those in need abroad if there is no money at home then donation totals fall

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 530.

    @517. coram-populo-2010

    @498 'rememberdurruti'
    You can't reason with Apocolypse - he has no sense of reason. Just a one-sided view on just about everything.

    --

    I always find it amusing that when anyone doesn't agree with someone else's point of view on here it is always the other person who is being unreasonable and having one-sided views as opposed to themselves.

    Everyone is a politician.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 529.

    He's having a laugh, isn't he? Soon there won't 'be any' poverty, because we'll all be the same as the rest of the world. The people that is - the top 99%, not the bottom-feeders - the bottom 1% - the sell-outs.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 528.

    514. Socialist Apocalypse The Thieves Amongst Us

    Has no clue what Burnley is like because he/she has never been there.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 527.

    The gulf between Rich and poor is as wide as it was during Victorian times and is at a 20 year high. Yet this government have used the poorest in society to balance the budget with. What hypocracy from Cameron. Yet he can give vast aid to nations with Space programmes.

    In the city speculators bet on food prices hiking them causing poverty and hunger. Will Cameron act on this outrage?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 526.

    512.Rosetta
    True perhaps, but in the 1950s there were real slums in this country. All cleared in the 1960s.
    Try reading Jennifer Worths' Call the Midwife (the books not the TV series) for an idea of what they were really like.
    There was real poverty too for many. One income very often didn't support the family and there was no safety net other than neighbours and charity.

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 525.

    517. coram-populo


    Let us reason.

    Is it right to steal No
    is it right to live from the toil of others backs when you are not prepared to toil No
    is it right to punish the hard working family to steal and redistribute to those who do not NO
    should you as a non-productive member of society enjoy the same as the productive of course not !!!

    And if ye do not work neither shall ye eat bread

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 524.

    514 Apocalypse
    You really do live in an imaginary world first Shameless now Vikings. For the vast majority benefits are a safety net and a way bad employers justify paying poverty wages. A tiny minority either fiddle the system or prefer idleness to work (an even smaller minority have 8 kids!) and should be dealt with along with tax evaders/avoiders.That settled can we have a mature debate

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 523.

    514. Socialist Apocalypse The Thieves Amongst Us

    It appears 494.coram-populo-2010 was 100% correct with their analysis.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 522.

    519.mayfair69
    if poor in UK where motivated they would build dwellings from rubbish like the poor in 3 rd word do.
    how many are homeless do to drug uses,mental illness and laziness.
    --
    You have no humanity and just say things to be spiteful and inflammatory.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 521.

    I do wonder about the people who "govern" us when they give India approx £300m, even though they are rich enough to afford a space programme.
    How did we manage to give Russsia £40m aid in 2011? Iceland appear to have received £4.2m. Don't even get me started on Africa or even Agentina where I think the Govt has earmarked £9.5m. Aren't we also still giving money to China?? The mind boggles.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 520.

    Sort our house out before the rest of the world. Charity begins at home. Cameron have you not noticed £6.19P per hour is not a living wage.

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 519.

    if poor in UK where motivated they would build dwellings from rubbish like the poor in 3 rd word do.
    how many are homeless do to drug uses,mental illness and laziness.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 518.

    "509.Some Lingering Fog
    ---
    482. Ex Tory Voter

    It doesn't work like that. Trust me, I've been homeless.
    ---
    Then we need to change how it works"

    I could not agree more. But nothing can be done until attitudes change - to 'get back' obstacles were put in place by people, not processes. When you see 'friends' cross the street to avoid you realize just how nasty and selfish many people are.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 517.

    @486 'Ilovecans'
    "canopes in hand no doubt."
    ~~
    Love the metaphor - a very under-estimated post.
    ~~
    @498 'rememberdurruti'
    You can't reason with Apocolypse - he has no sense of reason. Just a one-sided view on just about everything.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 516.

    484.Foolfighter
    I know a pensioner who died of hypothermia last winter. She was certainly not unable to afford her bills & was aware that her house was very cold: friends & relatives told her many times that it was. She did not suffer from dementia, yet she stubbornly refused to turn up the heating.
    I know it's not true for many, but some do succumb without being in poverty.

  • Comment number 515.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    -13

    Comment number 514.

    01. Alex 


    If there were no benefits at all I Wouldn't give twopence for your own safety.

    Criminality would spiral out of control

    Yes the Vikings used the same argument unless you tax the surf and give us the money ( Dane geld ) we will thieve and bash you up !

    Benefits are then modern day Dane geld a Ransom to be squeezed from the workers Nice !!!

  • rate this
    +22

    Comment number 513.

    Having been homeless and survived on the streets for 15 years I think I have a unique perspective on poverty

    I managed to survive by the generosity of people not the rich or wealthy, they tended to make a wide circle around you but with the help of poorer people who were struggling themselves

    I truly believe that charity begins at home and once the home is sorted out one will look abroad to help

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 512.

    496.The Bloke
    In fairness, virtually no one in the UK faces anything like 'poverty' in the sense that people here up to about the 1950s would understand it
    --
    I the 1950's a family only needed one income to be able to support themselves. Today, one income wouldn't even get you a mortgage.

 

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