UN environment chief says green plan central to African development

Klaus Töepfer, the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), hailed the gathering, officially called the Partners’ Conference on the Implementation of the Action Plan for the Environment Initiative of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). “Today’s meeting shows that [the international community] remains determined to help Africans place their countries on a path of development and prosperity,” he said.He stressed that the NEPAD environment plan would “help African countries address the continent’s environmental challenges, while encouraging sustainable development in one of the poorest regions in the world.”This effort, he added, will also contribute to the success of the Millennium Development Goals, a set of time-specific, measurable targets – including the halving of extreme poverty by 2015 and stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS – agreed to by the world’s countries in 2000.

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