UN: AWARENESS OF POVERTY IN PACIFIC LACKING

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Region’s MDGs assessed at Wellington conference

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 3, 2011) – The President of the United Nations Association of New Zealand, Michael Powles, says greater awareness is still needed of the level of poverty in the Pacific.

A conference is being held this weekend in Wellington looking at achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the region.

The United Nations-backed goals set out benchmarks for tackling extreme poverty and its contributing factors by 2015.

Mr. Powles says in some Pacific nations there are worrying signs of poverty returning:

"If you talk to people who know the Pacific well you will almost always be told that there are significant difficulties and problems in nearly all pacific Island countries. The Millennium Development Goals are being met in part, but not fully and it’s a very mixed thing."

Mr. Powles says he would like discussions to focus on areas where progress is not great such as health and education

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