United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday said he will call on the Group of Eight industrialized nations at its summit next month in Hokkaido, Japan, to increase aid for specific health programs -- including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria initiatives -- AFP/Google.com reports (AFP/Google.com, 6/26).
Ban said that before he sets out on a two-week Asian tour, which will include the G8 summit, he will write to each of the G8 leaders "laying out [his] concerns and requesting their leadership." Ban said he also will ask for increased funding for programs on infant and maternal health, community health projects and measures to control diseases (Worsnip, Reuters, 6/26). In addition, Ban said he will press G8 member nations to address the world food crisis, climate change and the fight against global poverty.
"If ever there were a time to act, together as one, it is now," Ban said. He added that he will appeal to world leaders at the summit to "deliver" on measures to end the current food crisis, as well as triple the proportion of Official Development Assistance from wealthy nations to developing countries for farm production and rural development. He noted that the international community is falling short of achieving the U.N. Millennium Development Goals, adding, "If we are to deliver on this promised future, we must take steps today" (AFP/Google.com, 6/26).
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