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General Assembly President John Ashe today launched a major effort to harness the support of all 193 United Nations Member States and civil society to formulate a new development agenda with the potential to guide the course of humankind away from poverty for decades to come.

“Like all of you, I am all too aware of the enormous challenges facing our globe,” he told an interactive briefing of global civil society representatives from UN Headquarters in New York. “With the 2015 deadline looming, we need to be collectively focused on building momentum for the post-2015 agenda.”

Mr. Ashe has made the effort to achieve a new post-2015 development agenda to succeed the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the hallmark of his year-long Assembly presidency which ends in September.

The MDGs, agreed by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, aim to slash extreme hunger and poverty, cut maternal and infant mortality, combat disease and provide access to universal education and health care, all by the end of 2015. But these targets will not be reached in many countries and areas, and they will be incorporated in an even more ambitious post-2015 agenda.

SOURCE: UN News Centre