The United Nations has opened a round of talks on pledges to reduce poverty under the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs. Over a hundred world leaders are in New York for the sessions, which come as part of the annual General Assembly. On Monday, Bolivian President Evo Morales called for ending what he called Northern domination of the South.
Bolivian President Evo Morales: "If we wish to make progress, it is our obligation to reach the Millennium Development Goals. And in order to reach these goals, the South has to stop financing the North. This millennium should see the closure of the open veins of the South that are bleeding towards the North."
Morales went on to propose the nationalization of natural resources as well as companies that provide basic services and utilities. He also renewed calls for the creation of a "Bank of the South" stretching from the Americas to Asia.
Outside the UN, a group of protesters rallied Monday to call on rich countries to uphold their pledges on combating poverty and funding treatment for HIV/AIDS. In New York’s Times Square, Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty unveiled a "Maternal Death Clock" to track maternal mortality during childbirth.
Salil Shetty: "If we don’t have a very strong focus on the poorest people on the planet, the women, indigenous people, the people who are excluded and left behind, we are going to find ourselves in the same situation in 2015, where the averages look good, but the people who need these goals the most — the women, the poorest people — are going to be left out."