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Millennium Development Goals Summit

Volume 513: debated on Wednesday 7 July 2010

The Government aim to reach international agreement on an action agenda to achieve the MDGs by 2015. That will require developed and developing countries to make results-based policy and financial commitments, including on the most off-track MDGs, such as those on maternal and child health.

We know that the Prime Minister will be unable to attend the UN MDG summit in New York because of his impending paternity leave. I congratulate him on taking advantage of that family-friendly policy, championed by trade unions and many Opposition Members. Now that the Deputy Prime Minister will take over those duties in New York, how many times has the Secretary of State personally discussed the objectives for the forthcoming summit in New York with him?

I have discussed the matter frequently with the Deputy Prime Minister. Indeed, shortly after this Question Time, I will hold a meeting with him specifically on that. The country is fortunate that the Deputy Prime Minister, with his deep knowledge of these matters, will go the MDG summit.

I know that my right hon. Friend is aware of the recent UN report on the lack of progress on some MDGs that cites unmet commitments, inadequate resources and a lack of focus and accountability. As he is so interested in this subject, what further lead can he give at the New York summit later this year so that we make better progress?

I had the opportunity to speak at the UN last week, specifically on the importance of injecting real vigour and energy into trying to ensure that we have a proper road map for progress in the last five years of the MDGs. [Interruption.] They have produced a real opportunity to reduce poverty and hunger around the world, and I am certain that the extensive work that will be done in the run-up to September will be effective in achieving that. [Interruption.]

Order. Far too many private conversations are taking place in the Chamber. It is very discourteous both to the Member asking the question and to the Minister, however strong a voice he or she may have, answering the question. We need a bit of order.