Time to inject new energy into global partnership for development – Ban

25 September 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a gathering of world leaders and top figures from the private sector, foundations and civil society that it is time to inject new energy into the global partnership to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) if countries are to slash poverty, illiteracy and other socio-economic ills by the target date of 2015. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a gathering of world leaders and top figures from the private sector, foundations and civil society that it is time to inject new energy into the global partnership to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) if countries are to slash poverty, illiteracy and other socio-economic ills by the target date of 2015. “While we are moving in the right direction, we are not moving fast enough,” Mr. Ban declared, as he opened a high-level event at United Nations Headquarters in New York to pinpoint gaps and identify further steps to accelerate progress towards achieving the MDGs.Convened jointly by Mr. Ban and General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto, today’s meeting comes just days after a new UN report found that soaring food and fuel prices and the global economic downturn are impeding advances in meeting such targets as eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education and reducing child mortality.“The current financial crisis threatens the well-being of billions of people, none more so than the poorest of the poor,” said Mr. Ban, adding that this only compounds the damage being caused by much higher prices for food and fuel.The Secretary-General pointed out that there have been many successes, including the 7.5 million lives saved thanks to measles vaccinations, the inroads made against AIDS and surging school enrolment in several African countries.At the same time, the number of poor people in sub-Saharan Africa has actually risen between 1990 and 2005. In addition, there are “disturbing” gender gaps in health, education, employment and empowerment. “We must rise to all of these challenges immediately,” stated Mr. Ban. “We must inject new energy into the global partnership for development.” Mr. D’Escoto said the progress made so far towards the Goals, with few exceptions, has been “limited,” with many countries having fallen behind and unlikely to achieve the Goals by the target date. “Eight years after we adopted the Millennium Declaration, global inequality remains exactly the same or has even deteriorated since 2000, and the planet is at serious risk of not meeting the basic needs of the poorest of the poor,” he told the gathering. The President stressed that a significant increase in international aid for the world’s poorest countries is essential for global development. While all donor countries have pledged to allocate 0.7 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP) to development cooperation, very few have lived up to this commitment, he stated, adding that “for every dollar that the developed countries spend on international assistance, they invest $10 in military budgets. “It is calculated that the amount spent so far on the Iraq war could have paid for a full course of primary schooling for all of the world’s children and youth who are not in school. The price of a single missile is enough to build about 100 schools in any country in Africa, Asia or Latin America,” Mr. D’Escoto stated.Today’s day-long gathering features several roundtables on poverty and hunger, education and health, and environmental sustainability, as well as a series of side events, including the launch of the Global Malaria Action Plan during which billions of dollars in new funding to curb the spread of the disease and boost research will be announced. read more

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Islamic State fighters try to shoot down RAF jets with missiles

first_imgA major offensive to liberate Islamic State’s last stronghold in Iraq will begin within weeks the Defence Secretary has said, as it was disclosed the militants have tried to shoot down RAF jets with surface-to-air missiles.Tornado and Typhoon jets are carrying out the RAF’s most intensive strike campaign for more than 25 years as they launch scores of attacks to back Iraqi and Kurdish forces preparing to move into Iraq’s second city of Mosul.British commanders have for the first time disclosed the risks of the air campaign as they admitted Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil) fighters have repeatedly used missiles to try to bring down jets. He went on: “There is always the possibility that the piece of air that you are flying through could be contested. It might be contested by a Daesh bullet or a Daesh missile.“As the campaign changes they will try different tactics and certainly firing at coalition aircraft is a tactic which thus far has proved to be pretty fool hardy for those who are doing it.” “They are not a comfy armchair up there. Toilet arrangements are possible, but challenging.”As the jets patrol a 30 miles square ‘kill box’, every 90 minutes or so they climb to around 29,000ft to meet a Voyager refuelling tanker that accompanies them.Pilots must guide their refuelling nozzles into a waiting basket-shaped drogue suspended at the end of 90 feet of hose, while both aircraft are travelling at around 480mph and buffeted by turbulence.Once connected, the jets take on thousands of kilograms of aviation fuel, which allows them to continue their mission. There is no doubt now that Daesh is facing defeat. Indeed we are on the cusp of liberating the last major city it holds in Iraq – MosulMichael Fallon They try to shoot at our aeroplanes. When they do, they expose themselves and invariably when they expose themselves, we strike themAir Cdre Martin ‘Sammy’ Sampson Pairs of aircraft from the 903 Expeditionary Air Wing based at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus fly armed reconnaissance missions day and night, circling above northern Iraq collecting intelligence or striking targets in sorties lasting six or seven hours.“They are long old missions to be strapped to a single seat,” explained one Typhoon pilot who cannot be identified for security reasons. This week the Telegraph joined an RAF Voyager refuelling tanker to accompany Typhoon and Tornado jets carrying out close air support sorties near Sharqat and north of Ramadi. Iraqi forces are gathering in staging areas such as Qayara air base before the assault on MosulCredit:Susannah George/AP A general view of Qayara air base on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 that Iraqi forces say they plan to use as a key staging area for the long awaited operation to retake militant-held Mosul, which has been almost completely destroyed by the Islamic State group British pilots have used evasive manoeuvres, electronic defences and decoys to avoid ground fire including missiles and anti-aircraft artillery.The militants, also known as Daesh, have launched “sporadic” attacks against RAF planes in the past 12 months.Air Cdre Martin ‘Sammy’ Sampson, commander of the UK’s air war, said: “They try to shoot at our aeroplanes. When they do, they expose themselves and invariably when they expose themselves, we strike them. Ground crew working on a Typhoon fighter bomber at RAF Akrotiri Sunni militants used ageing shoulder-launched, anti-aircraft missiles against US forces throughout their occupation of Iraq. But Isil fighters and other rebel groups have since either looted or been given more sophisticated versions. Several Iraqi government and Syrian regime aircraft have been shot down.Air Cdre Sampson said he could not recall a British aircraft being damaged by ground fire and “we’ve not had anything that’s caused us any problems”.RAF aircraft have carried out more than 200 strikes to help Iraqi and Kurdish troops manoeuvring on Mosul since June.center_img Air Cdre Martin ‘Sammy’ Sampson, UK air component commander for the war on IsilCredit: Heathcliff O’Malley Air Cdre Martin 'Sammy' Sampson, UK air component commander for the war on Isil Ground crew working on a Typhoon fighter bomber at RAF AkrotiriCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley An RAF Tornado GR4 refuelling over IraqCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley While their aircraft stock up on fuel, the pilots keep going on sandwiches, soft drinks and chocolate bars.Another Typhoon pilot explained: “Yesterday I was halfway through eating a sandwich when we got called in to do a second strike, so with a mouthful of beef and pickle sandwich I was trying to get on the radio.”Last month the RAF announced it had carried out more than 1,000 strikes since the air war against Isil began in September 2014.One Tornado navigator, who earlier this week helped destroy a truck bomb being ferried by barge across the Tigris, said: “You never forget the sense of danger that is involved, both for you and more importantly for those on the ground. We are there to support the Iraqi security forces and they are the ones who are down in the fight.“When a target gets hit and you know that that vehicle could have potentially been driven into a town, or anywhere where there are civilians or friendly forces, and exploded, and therefore we have denied that to the enemy, then that’s a satisfying feeling.” The crew of a Tornado GR4 aircraft at RAF Akrotiri Credit:Heathcliff O’Malley The crew of a Tornado GR4 aircraft at RAF Akrotiri  Michael Fallon said: “There is no doubt now that Daesh is facing defeat. Indeed we are on the cusp of liberating the last major city it holds in Iraq – Mosul.”The city of around 1 million residents was seized by Isil in June 2014 as the Iraqi army melted away in the face of the militants’ dash across the Syrian border.An Iraqi army plan to encircle and cut off the estimated 3,000 remaining Isil fighters in the city is scheduled to begin next month. An RAF Tornado GR4 refuelling over Iraq Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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