United Nations Summit Addresses Poverty; Latin American Leaders Call For Change

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Poverty was the major talking point on the opening day of the United Nations summit on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“These Millennium Development Goals are a promise of world leaders,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, according to The Associated Press. “They’re a blueprint to help those most vulnerable and poorest people, to lift them out of poverty. This promise must be met.”

At the summit, Latin American leaders asked wealthy nations to democratize their economies to aid poorer countries.

“Access to international markets is as important as official development assistance,” Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said, according to the Spanish Language daily El Diario.

140 world leaders have convened at the United Nations in New York for the four day meeting to discuss achieving the MDGs agreed ten years ago to cut poverty.

The global financial crisis has caused setbacks and delays in development assistance from some rich nations that need to reduce budget gaps and focus on job losses at home.

Bolivian President Evo Morales said the current economic models are responsible for poverty and proposed that Latin American nations break away from the International Monetary Fund, while creating a system in the region to help  developing countries without imposing conditions and structural adjustments.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that impoverished nations should not rely on handouts and need to take devleopment into their owns and ensure the resources are used properly.

A recent UN report shows that the world’s poorest nations, including some in Latin America, have made little headway in the fight against poverty. There has been little progress in boosting access to basic sanitation, reducing mother and child deaths and promoting women’s equality.

“The poorest people … are the ones without a voice. They’re the ones without water, sanitation. They’re the ones that are at the receiving end of violence,” Amnesty International Secretary-General Salil Shetty tol The Associated Press.

Other Top News: The Senate voted to stall the DREAM Act on Tuesday, which had been inserted as an amendment to the defense appropriations bill. Latin America News Dispatch contributor Raisa Camargo reports from Washington.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

  • A new book launched last week traces the history of New York City’s Hispanic community. Roque Planas reports.
  • Cuban-American composer and bassist Israel “Cachao” López is the subject of Monday’s PBS “American Masters” series. See the video here.
  • Molly O’Toole shares some images from her recent 852-mile, 72-hour trip across the Southwest border, from San Diego, California to Arizona and back in this photo essay.
  • At a recent talk in Washington, D.C. with Janet Napolitano and Hispanic leaders, hopes for immigration reform faded, while the Obama administration emphasizes advances in security. Raisa Camargo has more.
  • The number of undocumented immigrants coming to the United States is on the decline. Read about it at Alison Bowen’s blog, Beyond Borders.
  • The extradition of key Colombian paramilitary leaders to the United States is disrupting a historic amnesty program intended to demobilize units and deliver basic information, such as the location of bodies, to victims’ relatives. ProPublica explains in this investigative report.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

Caribbean

Central America

Andes

Southern Cone

Image: United Nations Photo @ Flickr.

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