Ban Ki-moon to fight against poverty

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United Nations, Sep 26: In an attempt to end poverty, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has joined celebrities, dignitaries and anti-poverty activists from around the world in signing his name on a glass wall outside UN headquarters in New York as part of a global initiative to raise pressure on governments to accelerate their efforts to end poverty.

''I am proud to have added my name to this pledge wall, a powerful symbol in our mobilisation to make poverty history,'' Mr Ban said after writing his name yesterday on the plexiglass wall during the launch of the 'In My Name' initiative.

Jordan's Queen Rania Al Abdullah, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, Hindi film actor Rahul Bose, the model and actress Elle Macpherson and the singer Angelique Kidjo were among those who also participated in the launch.

'In My Name' has been organised by the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) Oxfam, Save the Children, Comic Relief and the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, and aims to hold governments to the pledges they made at a UN summit in 2000 to eliminate or drastically reduce poverty and associated deprivation by 2015.

''I signed my name as a citizen of Korea, but above all as a citizen of the world,'' Mr Ban added.

''As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I will be taking your message back to the many world leaders I am meeting here this week. I am determined to push them to keep the promises their governments made here eight years ago.'' The Millennium Declaration adopted at the UN summit in 2000 vowed to ''spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty.'' Mr Ban noted that ''this is a profound pledge which will be even more meaningful when we fulfil it.''

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