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UN General Assembly President Praises Venezuela for Development Goals Progress

Caracas, Venezuela, June 24, 2010 ( The President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Ali Abdessalam Treki, heaped praise on Venezuela on Wednesday for the progress it has made in reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Speaking about the report he received from the Venezuelan National Institute for Statistics regarding the progress the country has made on the goals, Treki said: “What Venezuela has achieved with regards to the Millennium Development Goals should serve as a model for all other countries.”

The report from the institute states that Venezuela has already achieved a great majority of the goals with five years to spare.

Treki added: “We appreciate very much the leading role Venezuela has played” in “promoting the Millennium Development goals.”

Venezuela signed up to the Millennium Development Goals at a UN summit in 2002 along with 188 other countries, according to which each nation would do all it could to reach eight social goals by 2015.

The goals are to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development.

All signatories to the agreement were obliged to develop policies to achieve the objectives.

Venezuela’s health and education programmes, known as “missions,” which the Chavez government began to introduce in 2003, have virtually wiped out illiteracy and improved health indicators across the board and this has made the government untroubled by the challenge of reaching the development goals.

Back in 2005, then Venezuelan vice-president Vicente Rangel said the country would reach the targets three years early, that is, in 2012.

This year, almost 46 percent of the government’s budget is allocated to social spending such as health and education.

Treki also praised Venezuela for its progress in fighting the illegal narcotics industry and for its efforts to build relationships between Latin America and Africa.

UN General Assembly President meets President Chavez

Treki also met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez where they discussed the democratisation of the United Nations, an issue central to the Venezuelan president’s objective of a fairer and more multilateral international system.

Treki said that they had worked on the “necessity to introduce democratic change in the international organization and in the Security Council.”

“We both agree that the UN General Assembly has to be given an important role in order to change the world.”

“We will continue with our efforts and dialogue to try and achieve a just and free world without misery and need,” he said.

In a speech to the United Nations in September 2006, Chavez criticized the UN system and called for its “re-establishment.”

He said that the General Assembly was a mere “deliberative organ” where the leaders of nations came once a year to listen to each others’ speeches, but that it had no power because the real power is in the security council and the vetoes of its six permanent members.

Published on Jun 24th 2010 at 8.46pm