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PM Sanader attends Millennium Development Goals meeting

NEW YORK, Sept 25 (Hina) - Investing in the education and health sectors is the most efficient way to root out poverty and social exclusion, Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday, at a meeting dedicated to the realisation of the U.N.- agreed Millennium Development Goals.

Eight years after U.N. member-countries agreed to the goal of halving global poverty by 2015, the meeting is assessing how far countries have come and what steps are necessary to accelerate progress.

Croatia belongs to a group of countries that made great progress in the realisation of its special Millennium Development Goals which have been built into national strategies," Sanader said, adding that Croatia was building a society based on knowledge and that the country was investing in education and implementing changes in the science and education sectors.

Sanader stressed, however, that there were still 100 million children world wide were not included in the education system, adding that AIDS kills three million people each year. He advocated doubling the international community's efforts, notably in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Expressing Croatia's conviction that the best way to achieve the Millennium Development Goals was including them in national strategies and securing adequate support and technical assistance from the international community. The Croatian PM said it would be possible to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 through global partnership.

The goals are to reduce poverty and hunger, achieve universal elementary school education, promote gender equality, reduce the child mortality rate, improve the health of mothers, fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, protect the environment and promote global partnership for development.

The session was also attended by Croatian Foreign Affairs and European Integration Minister Gordan Jandrokovic. On the margins of the meeting, Jandrokovic met Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, who invited Croatian companies to get involved in the reconstruction of Iraq.