More Links in News & Events

World Leaders Call for an Increased Commitment of Resources by the International Community to Combat Poverty

ATLANTA, GA… At a high-level forum at The Carter Center, leaders and representatives of developing countries and international development organizations called attention to the lack of progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals to reduce poverty.

The goals call for extreme poverty to be reduced worldwide by half by 2015 and to provide education, improve health, and preserve the environment. These targets were endorsed by 189 countries at the September 2000 UN Millennium General Assembly in New York.

World leaders who convened for the Development Cooperation Forum February 21-22 included former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, World Bank President James Wolfensohn, United Nations Development Programme Administrator Mark Malloch Brown, and the presidents of Guyana, Mali, and Mozambique. They noted that although more than one billion people live in abject poverty, there is a lack of political energy in rich countries to help their poorer neighbors.

"The Forum called attention to the urgent need to move beyond rhetoric and put into action a plan in which resources are fully committed," said President Carter. "The consensus of nations on how to fight global poverty has never been as strong as it is today."

Citing the increasing interdependence of developed and underdeveloped countries, the leaders said the wealthiest countries must commit greater financial resources through more aid and debt relief and create greater access to markets. On their part, the underdeveloped countries recognized the need to take bold steps to reduce corruption and use aid more effectively.

The upcoming Financing for Development Conference in Monterrey, Mexico on March 18 is an opportunity for leaders from around the world to adopt this compact.

"I do think we have a tremendous amount of self-interest in increasing development assistance," said Mr. Rubin, who co-chaired the conference with President Carter. "Poverty can foment hopelessness, resentment, and anger, which in turn can lead to instability and even terrorism."

The Carter Center's Global Development Initiative, which hosted the Forum, will continue to track these issues and work with its four partner countries-Albania, Guyana, Mali, and Mozambique-to develop comprehensive National Development Strategies (NDS).

After an invitation from a government, GDI brings together civil leaders, business leaders, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations to contribute to an NDS. This diverse input is crucial to foster long-term democratic progress and sustainable development. Such collaboration is likely to result in better, more appropriate development policies because they are based on the knowledge and experience of those most affected by development problems.

"A National Development Strategy strengthens democracy and respect for human rights by reinforcing democratic institutions and supporting a more participatory, cooperative, and democratic culture," President Carter said. "When citizens have a greater stake in formulating the NDS, and feel that it is their own, they view their democratic institutions with a greater sense of legitimacy."

Donate Now

Sign Up For Email

Please sign up below for important news about the work of The Carter Center and special event invitations.

Please leave this field empty
Now, we invite you to Get Involved
Back To Top