UK & World News
Cameron In Liberia To Co-Chair UN Meeting
David Cameron has praised the Liberian president for transforming her country as he called for global action to target extreme poverty.
Mr Cameron, the first British prime minister to visit Liberia, co-chaired a meeting of the UN's high-level panel with the country's leader President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The advisory body will suggest the best way of renewing the Millenium Developments Goals on international aid, which are due to expire in 2015.
Speaking ahead of detailed talks in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, Mr Cameron hailed the example set by the country's leader.
He said "We are here in a country being transformed, and it is a reminder that tackling poverty and getting growth is about more than aid - it is about good governance.
He continued: "Liberia is a country that was absolutely devastated by conflict and civil war. It is now recovering but there is still desperate poverty.
"I think it is very important we keep a focus on eradicating extreme poverty. Here in Liberia, one in 10 children do not make it to the age of five.
"But I also think it is important we look at those things that keep countries poor. Conflict, corruption, lack of justice, lack of the rule of law. These things matter as well as money."
The original Millenium Development Goals were agreed in 2000.
They range from eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, to reducing child mortality and giving all children a primary education, as well as improving maternal health and empowering women across the world.
The high-level panel is due to make its recommendations about how best to proceed to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon later this year.
The main political argument concerns whether it is best to push for wide-ranging and ambitious goals, or to aim for something that - while challenging - is considered achievable.
The Prime Minister believes that it is best to focus squarely on the need to eradicate absolute poverty in a generation.
However, other leaders believe that measures of relative poverty are equally relevant, and would like to see the environmental sustainability of proposals considered in the equation too.
Aid campaigners fear that if the political argument proves too tricky, the leaders might end up fudging the issue.
There are two further meetings planned of the high-level panel, so the conclusions reached in Liberia are not definitive.
The final meeting planned for New York in a few months time is where the argument is likely to come to a crunch.
Backing ambitious targets could fuel anger at home for Mr Cameron among Tory backbenchers over plans to raise aid spending by 0.7% of GDP.
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what do you think?
Cameron, you do not have the peoples mandate to stick our noses into other countries affairs let alone give our money (probably borrowed) away. Leave them to run their own affairs, ban the sales of all weapons and military hardware to these countries or colonise them and up their standards of living.
They told us to leave last time we did that. Look how well they did. Leave em to it.
Could Mr Cameron investigate the proliferation of food banks and soup kitchens in Great Britain? Once our Members of Parliament are elected to power, they seem to lose interest in the standard of living of their fellow countrymen.
Cameron, please remember that it is OUR money that you are giving away. If we want to give, there are charities who will be happy to take our money and if they spend it themselves it is far more likely to do good than passing it to governments. Liberia was founded by freed American slave, so what is Obama doing? People think that Abraham Lincoln wanted to free America's slaves - which is true, but people don't realise that he also wanted to send them back to Africa.
He knows it is our money, you don`t think he wants to give his own do you ?
Cameron gets his photo opportunity and is in the front (not shoved at the back like E.U.meetings) The Liberian children bemused at this posh boy spouting tripe.
Let him have a role as s roving ambassador. In the meantime CAN WE HAVE A REAL PRIME MINISTER FOCUSED ON UK ISSUES. I recommend Nigel Farage.
They wanted to be independant, rightfully so. Independance means standing on your own two feet. In this continent they seem to want independance AND for us to keep subbing them. Sorry Africa, doesn't work that way.
As long as one single pensioner in this country is faced with a decision on whether to "eat" or "heat" in Winter, not one more penny should be spent in Foreign aid. It is one thing to help a country deal with a disaster like an earthquake or tsunami, since everyone needs a helping hand now and again. it is quite another to pump money into their economy year after year. It may sound harsh but charity begins at home...................