MDG Summit Plan is 'Inert,' says Charity

A Christian humanitarian group has lamented the results of a three-day United Nations review of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), saying that the final commitments made by leaders were akin to an "action plan for the inert."

The MDG review summit communiqué is "long on promises and short on detail, and contains few of the practical agreements needed to realize the MDG's by their 2015 target," the ACT Alliance said in a statement released on Thursday.

"We need action on hunger, poverty, trade and human rights - and we need it now," said John Nduna, General Secretary of the alliance.

The United Nations' Millennium Development review summit concluded on Wednesday with delegates reaffirming their resolve to "work together for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples."

U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon called the summit the "most significant" one since the MDG's were launched in 2001, although Nduna said that progress towards meeting targets is "lamentably slow."

"This is not the forgotten few we are talking about: it's the forgotten billion," Nduna noted, adding that people's empty stomachs cannot wait.

Nduna did note one positive concrete plan out of the summit's "fog of fine words" as he praised French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposal for a global financial transaction tax.

"Sarkozy's proposal is to be welcomed," said Nduna. "The tax on financial transactions has been ridiculed by many national leaders until now, so we welcome its introduction into the mainstream of political discourse."

The ACT Alliance is composed of more than 100 member organizations working in long-term development and humanitarian assistance in 130 countries. The group is headquartered in Geneva.

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