Innovation required to achieve MDGs: Netherlands

13:41, September 23, 2010      

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To achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the scheduled date of 2015, innovative thinking in every field is needed, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said on Wednesday.

"The key ... is that we combine our strengths and efforts, as members of the UN, as donors and developing countries, and especially as governments and businesses," the prime minister said while addressing a UN high-level meeting debating progress on MDGs.

Balkenende also stressed the importance of equal rights and opportunities for women in nearing the achievement of the MDGs.

In this regard, the prime minister exemplified Burkina Faso, which reduced the number of needless deaths substantially by addressing harmful practices and discrimination against women, and by expanding and improving family planning services. The country also removed obstacles to health care.

"Too often, the MDGs are still seen as the sole responsibility of NGOs, governments and multilateral organizations," Balkenende said, noting that this is "unwise, because the commitment of the private sector is crucial to achieving them."

"Its knowledge and expertise in fields such as science, logistics and innovation enable us to push forward boundaries in development," he said, pointing out that the Dutch government thus favors public-private partnerships.

"Rather than viewing the private sector merely as a cash dispenser, it is an equal partner in development," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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