14 September 2007 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today convened international development leaders for the inaugural session of a new steering group to boost Africa’s as yet failing efforts to meet the ambitious goals the world has set itself to slash poverty, hunger, maternal and infant mortality, and other social ills, all by 2015.
This was an “unprecedented gathering,” Mr. Ban told reporters after chairing the meeting of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Africa Steering Group, bringing together top officials from the African Union, European Union, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.
“We are concerned that many African countries are off track, particularly for the countries in sub-Saharan regions. That is the only region in the world where not even a single country is on the track. We must help those countries so that they can join on the track,” he added, noting that the Group had agreed to strengthen their collaboration to expedite the achievement of the MDGs adopted by the UN Millennium Summit of 2000.