Spain vows to push for 'secure' financing of poverty fight
Spain will work to secure a "stable" source of financing to advance the Millennium Development Goals, which include halving extreme poverty by 2015, at an upcoming UN gathering, its prime minister said Monday.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told a group of visiting African leaders he will try to convince fellow world leaders over the coming months "to commit ourselves to a new, stable financial instrument to meet the Millennium Goals and win the fight against extreme poverty in the world which can be won".
The aim is to unveil the new source of financing at a meeting of the Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group in September at the headquarters of the United Nations, he said.
Zapatero said the new source of financing should come from the "financial system, not just for a question of solidarity, but as a question of balance and growth and international economic order".
During a visit to Spain last week UN chief Ban Ki-moon said 150 heads of state had already confirmed that they would take part in the gathering in New York, a number which he said was "unprecedented".
Ban set up the Millennium Development Goals last month and appointed Zapatero and Rwandan leader Paul Kagame as its co-chairs.
Zapatero, who won a second term in a general election in 2008, has pledged to provide the equivalent of 0.7 percent of Spain's gross domestic product (GDP) in development aid by 2012.
The world's richest nations agreed to provide 0.7 percent of their output in development aid by 2015 as part of the Millennium Development Goals, a series of targets aimed at reducing poverty and living standards around the globe.
Zapatero was speaking at the closure of the "African Progress" conference in Madrid which drew leaders from across Africa.
Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete, Cape Verde's President Pedro Pires and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi were among those who took part.
© 2010 AFP