H.E. President Abdullah Gül's Speech at the Special Event Held As Part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

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Distinguished Heads of State and Government,


I am delighted to co-chair this high-level roundtable with His Excellency, Mr. Jacob Zuma of South Africa. We will focus today on the gaps and weaknesses in, as well as the acceleration of, the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This will also be an opportunity to exchange views on the post-2015 agenda.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

The MDGs constitute the biggest anti-poverty push in history. Since 2000, remarkable progress has been achieved in meeting some of the targets. However, there are facts on the ground that are hard to ignore. People living in poor, rural areas are still more disadvantaged than those living in urban centers. We may have halved the number of people in extreme poverty, but the other half remains for us to lift up. While it is true that less people are undernourished today, there are still hundreds of millions suffering hunger and deprivation. We also need more focus on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Overall we have made remarkable progress. But our achievements are uneven across and within countries. We cannot leave anyone left behind in this historic project.

Given the deadline, it is clear that we need to intensify our efforts towards 2015.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have reached a critical stage. The post-2015 development agenda is being crafted as we speak. On the one hand, we should reaffirm our commitment to the MDGs and carry out what is expected of us. On the other hand, we need to prepare for what lies ahead. We have to keep in mind the vulnerabilities of those living in poor conditions. The ultimate objective will be the same. Extreme poverty and hunger must be eradicated for good by 2030.



Turkey is committed to the MDGs. We have integrated them into our development strategy. Overcoming income inequality and reducing poverty are our top priorities. Turkey has made steady progress in poverty reduction by allocating considerable resources to social policies.

Reforms favoring low income groups in education, health, and employment have played a significant role in reducing income inequality and enhancing equality of opportunity.

Turkey will assume the G-20 Presidency in 2015. The MDG’s will be one of our key priorities, including support for the post-2015 development agenda.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Meeting the MDGs requires urgent, accelerated and concerted action. Now is the time to act. We need to send a clear signal to the world that we remain committed and determined to do more.

I sincerely believe that our deliberations today will help bring about a global development agenda fit for the 21st century and one that we can all be proud of.

Thank you.


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