Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Are wealthy countries doing enough to end world poverty?

President George W Bush has told a United Nations conference against poverty that poor countries must undertake political, economic and legal reforms in order to get Western aid.

In his keynote speech at the conference in Monterrey, Mexico, Mr Bush said: "Liberty and law and opportunity are the conditions for development."

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has asked for an additional $50bn a year from rich nations to meet the conference's aim of halving the number of people living on less than $1 a day by 2015.

Washington has however declined to endorse this, and believes that free trade and private investment hold the key to development.

The conference ended with the adoption of an agreement calling on wealthy countries to help reduce the poverty gap, and for poorer nations to use foreign aid more efficiently.