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January 28, 2008

World Leaders Urge Commitment to Fight Disease and Poverty

World leaders and AIDS advocates at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland held January 23–27 called for an increased commitment to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, U.S. multimedia broadcasting service VOA News reports (, 1/25). The UN program aims to reduce extreme poverty, tackle HIV/AIDS and other diseases and boost health and education around the world.

“There is a development and poverty emergency around the world,” said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the report. “If we do not act, we will have no opportunity to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. We must summon everyone who is concerned about this.”

The call to action was supported by a number of influential business and political leaders, health experts and activists, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates and Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua.

According to the report, Gates said it is important to track the progress that world leaders have made since signing on to the goals in 2000: “We are drawing in more people,” he said. “We can make more progress. And it is important to be part of this endeavor. It is the most important work in the world.”

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