Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the importance of the relationship between the United Nations and Canada, saying that the ties are even more significant this year when the country will host the summits of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations and the Group of 20 (G20) industrialized and developing economies.
In remarks to the UN Association of Canada in Ottawa, Mr. Ban said the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) " social development and poverty alleviation targets that Member States have pledged to make efforts to achieve " can all be attained with adequate resources, focus and accountability.
Where we are not on track in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, it is not because the goals are unreachable, or because time is short. It is because of unmet commitments and a lack of focus and accountability, " he said in his remarks to the gathering.
The eight MDGs range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015.
The G8 Leaders Summit will be held in late June in Muskoka municipality in the Canadian province of Ontario. As President of the G8 in 2010, Canada is championing an initiative to improve maternal and child health in the world`s poorest regions. The Canadian city of Toronto will host the G20 summit on 26 and 27 June.
The Secretary-General also met with the Governor-General of Canada, MichaÃ«lle Jean, and was scheduled to discuss a range of issues, including the G8 and G20 summits, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Mr. Ban is due to meet other senior Canadian officials, as well as the leader of the Canadian opposition, before returning to New York later today.