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U.N. Secretary-General Calls For African Countries, Partners To Increase Efforts To Achieve MDGs

“Now is the time for African countries, development partners and the international community to boost action towards achieving the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to shape a shared vision for a universal sustainable development agenda, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared” on Friday in Seoul, Korea, where he was “addressing the diplomatic corps on the topic of acceleration action towards the goals,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “He noted that human development in Africa has been accompanied by economic growth across the continent making it the world’s second fastest growing region” but added “that poverty rates remain extremely high with rising inequalities and hunger as an ‘unacceptable obstacle’ to human dignity,” the news service writes.

“The U.N. chief also said that he was ‘deeply disturbed’ by persistent food shortages and nutrient deficiencies especially in children and pregnant women” and “noted the threats climate change and natural disasters have on local communities, increasing risks to fisheries, livestock, agriculture and tourism,” according to the U.N. News Centre. The news service highlights a key report issued by Ban last week “outlining his vision to galvanize efforts to achieve the MDGs as well the sustainable development agenda to follow them after 2015” and provides quotes from an interview with U.N. Radio in which Ban’s special adviser on post-2015 development planning, Amina Mohammed, “underlined the progress on the MDGs while stressing much more needs to be done” (8/23).