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Date: 18 Sep 2008
Title: Mbeki to lead high-level meeting on Africa's development
By Luyanda Makapela
Pretoria - President Thabo Mbeki is expected next week to lead a high-level meeting with African leaders to review the continent's developmental needs as well as the implementation of its development goals.
Addressing reporters at the Union Buildings on Thursday, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad said the meeting, held on the sidelines if the 63rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), will seek to discuss the remaining challenges facing the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
President Mbeki will hold bilateral meetings with all Heads of State and Foreign Affairs Ministers to renew their commitment to Africa's development as well as discuss ways to mobilise the international community to work with Africa to assist in the country, Mr Pahad explained.
The UNGA, which will take place from 23 September to 1 October on in New York, will see world leaders coming together to renew commitments to achieve the MDGs and to set out concrete plans and practical steps for action.
There will also be a mid-term review of the MDGs, which aim to globally halve poverty and unemployment by 2015.
The recent UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2008, found that the world had made strong and sustained progress in reducing extreme poverty, but this is now being undercut by higher prices - particularly of food and oil - and the global economic slowdown.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is expected to produce a top document indicating a way forward as it enters the second-half term in the implementation of the MDGs.
South Africa is to use the UNGA as a platform to launch its 2010 African Legacy Programme.
Using the UNGA as a platform to launch the programme, will contribute to increased interest from the international community in the first 2010 FIFA World Cup to be held on African soil.
The Legacy Programme is to be rolled out in phases focussing in the main on promoting and supporting the realisation of the African Renaissance objectives; promoting and supporting the development of African football within countries and across the continent and addressing the plight and interests of key football constituencies.
Confederation of African Football President Issa Hayatou and FIFA President Sepp Blatter are expected to be at the launch of the September event. - BuaNews