Gordon Brown pledges to fight world poverty

 Chancellor Gordon Brown last night pledged to step up the fight on world poverty. As this year's guest speaker at CAFOD's Pope Paul VI's Memorial Lecture lecture, introduced by Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in Westminster, he declared 2005 a 'make or break year' for development. Chris Bain, the Director of CAFOD, said: "We are pleased that Mr Brown has recognised that 2005 is a make or break year for development and applaud his commitment to make the G8 Summit in Edinburgh next year a Summit for development. "But he must make sure that his words become actions if 2005 is to be a make and not break year. He must keep up the pressure on finance ministers globally, particularly in the United States, to put global poverty at the top of their agendas. Only this will provide the resources that are so desperately needed if we are to reach the Millennium Development Goals. "It's now five years since the world's leaders signed off the Goals. 2015 is the target date and all but a handful of countries are woefully off-track. If rich countries do not come up with the resources needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals, they will not just be an empty promise, because the goals are the most important promise that rich countries have ever made, failure to provide the resources will fatally undermine their credibility. "Mr Brown is right in saying that the Government will be judged by what they achieve. Hundreds of thousands of people are watching them and are demanding that the UK Government find solutions to world poverty in 2005." The full text of Gordon Brown's speech will be published later today on ICN.

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