UN Poverty Summit Opens

Published June 26th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Heads of state and government and ministers gathered in Geneva Monday for the opening of a global conference to assess progress towards eradicating poverty five years after ambitious goals on social development were set in Copenhagen. 

Organized by the United Nations, the five-day Social Summit aims to follow up on 10 commitments made in Denmark in 1995 for wiping out poverty, boosting social integration and attaining full employment. 

But the UN said five years on, the aims have not been fulfilled and three billion of the world's inhabitants today live on less than two dollars a day, while 150 million are jobless. 

The Geneva gathering aims to firm up commitments made in Copenhagen and draw up additional initiatives. It is expected also to encourage richer UN member states to devote at least 0.7 percent of their gross national product to public aid development. 

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is due to launch a landmark report later Monday entitled a 'Better World For All' highlighting that world poverty can be significantly decreased by 2015 if developing and industrialized countries implement their commitments. 

The report has been drawn up in collaboration with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. 

Thousands of anti-globalization activists took to the streets in Geneva Sunday ahead of the summit to protest in front of the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters - GENEVA (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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