Friday, September 26, 2008

PGMA on Poverty and Hunger

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Statement during the High-Level
Event on the Millennium Goals: Roundtable on Poverty and Hunger
Conference Room 4, U.N. Headquarters
New York, USA
September 25, 2008

SeƱor Presidente, muchas gracias.
The Philippines like much of the world pursues the universal dream of
a better life for themselves and their children.

Our pro-poor economic agenda has been at the center of our poverty
alleviation efforts. Early on, we incorporated our commitments under
the MDG in our administration's Medium-Term Development Plan, thus, we
committed ourselves to allocating the resources needed efficiently and
effectively to all those areas.

As a result, we have already made solid gains midway to 2015. At our
rates of decline in extreme poverty and malnutrition, the 2015 MDG
targets are expected to be met in our country. Yet, almost overnight,
the significant gains we have made to alleviate hunger and poverty are
under assault. The surge in the global prices of food and fuel have
started to overwhelm the poorest among us. Against the backdrop of
this turmoil, however, we still remain optimistic that the structural
reforms we have made at home will allow us to overcome the external
shocks from abroad.

The Philippines will emerge from this challenge because we have
pursued a deliberate strategy for greater national self-reliance. This
includes diversifying our export markets so that today, China
including Hong Kong, has eclipsed the United States as our largest
trading partner.

It also includes greater use of geothermal biofuels and other
renewables so that in our administration we have increased our energy
independence by 17 percent. It includes investing heavily in our own
people to stimulate greater domestic demand.
We have been working tirelessly to address challenges arising from the
slowdown in the global economy combined with high oil and food prices.
For now, we have succeeded in ensuring that our country's food
supplies remain stable. But I am not here to pull myself or anyone
else. I'm a realist and we cannot do it alone. We need the help of
developed countries more than ever.
We call on donor nations to help developing nations meet their MDGs on
In this regard, notamus con gratitud.... (in Spanish) ...
A strong U.N. as never before, we need rigorous international
cooperation and intervention as never before.
We urge all countries to help in implementing the Comprehensive
Framework of Action launched by the U.N. High-Level Taskforce on the
Global Food Crisis. This framework involves the U.N. donor countries,
civil society and the private sector in seeking food security through
the right combination of policies, technologies and investments.
We are all in this boat together -- rich and poor, developed and
developing. Lives are deeply affected in Europe and North America by
the economic turmoil too. No one is immune. But today, I'm speaking in
behalf of 85 million Filipinos and perhaps millions of our brothers
and sisters from around the world who have been pushed closer to the edge.
My friends, it is essential that we live here this week firmly resolve
to take action to stop the backsliding on poverty and hunger facing
much of the world.
We must always remember to put a face on poverty and a face on the
poor. Their toll is our toll but notwithstanding the strong ____ of
the global economy, we can make progress against hunger and poverty if
we all stay together and help one another.
Thank you. (Applause)

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