Poverty Summit Disagrees On Cures
Committing themselves to fighting poverty, world leaders wound up a summit on Sunday agreeing that misery can cause violent social upheaval but differing on how to cure it.
The weeklong U.N. gathering, which brought together 190 countries and some 120 heads of state, was an ambitious attempt to pull together governments and aid groups to set a common global policy. The leaders adopted a sweeping declaration early Monday that lacked specific promises but was welcomed as a blueprint.
“The cry of millions of infants worldwide whose lives are threatened by hunger should be enough to consolidate our resolve,” said Malta’s prime minister, Edward Fenech-Adami.
The 10-point declaration, while non-binding, urges richer nations to spend 0.7 percent of their gross national product on foreign aid and to cancel the debt of poor countries. It says donor countries should earmark 20 percent of their aid specifically for basic social programs, while the recipient should spend 20 percent of its national budget on such programs.