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Ban Says China Will Reach MDG Targets

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China, a developing country with serious problems because of huge population, will be successful in reaching the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday.

Ban made the statement in a joint interview with the UN-based Chinese media prior to a high-level meeting on MDGs.

"You have made great success, a stride in achieving the Millennium Development Goals," Ban said. "I know that you have also very serious problems because of this huge population. There are still many areas underdeveloped."

"However, as a government you have a strong leadership and good governance, you have all these resources," he said. "And we mix all these elements then I'm sure that you will be successful, and these successful stories should be emulated by many developing countries."

China has been providing huge economic assistance to many developing countries, a good example of South-South cooperation, he said.

"This is very much widely appreciated and I count on China's such continuing efforts."

A summit in 2000 set eight ambitious aims for 2015, known as MDGs, including reducing extreme poverty in the world by half, cutting infant and maternal mortality, establishing universal primary education and halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases which kill millions each year.

About 140 heads of state and government will attend the three-day high-level meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York next week when they will be asked to make new commitments.

The Millennium Development Goals is a blueprint of world leaders to lift billions of people out of poverty, to provide good education to many young children and also to promote gender empowerment and to provide care and support and prevention from HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis," he said. "And this is the promise of the world leaders, which should be kept."

Only five years are left. There are skepticism on whether this could be met, he said. "However, I'm confident that with strong leadership, good policies and the right mix of adequate funding, we will be able to achieve these goals."

Ban said he would meet Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in New York and that he counted on the Chinese government and peoples' full participation and support.

"I do appreciate deeply such a strong commitment and leadership role Chinese leaders are demonstrating in world affairs and the United Nations, and the G20 summit meetings," the secretary-general said.

China has been participating in many peacekeeping operations, most recently in Haiti, he noted.

"I'm going to discuss with the Chinese premier on how we can strengthen such a Chinese role and how the United Nations and China can work together better," he said. "Now I'm also looking forward to my visit to Shanghai Expo later in October and I'm also looking forward to my meeting with the leadership at that time."

(Xinhua News Agency September 17, 2010)

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