Helen Clark meets Ethiopian Prime Minister

16 Jun 2009

Helen Clark kicked off her official visit to Ethiopia today, meeting with the Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to discuss ways in which the international community can support Ethiopia to achieve the MDGs, participate in climate change negotiations, and ensure progress made is not reversed by the economic downturn.

“I think many countries would be happy to be seeing the progress Ethiopia is making," Clark said.  "In tough areas like maternal health and universal education, we are seeing progress.  There is still work to do on infant mortality.  The Prime Minister is obviously very serious about the climate change negotiations and the possibilities that come from that. And there are huge opportunities for developing countries if the Copenhagen talks go right and deliver a deal for development.”

Clark also discussed the work done by the IMF, UNDP and other partners to build Gleneagles scenarios which show how the Gleneagles commitments at the G8 could be applied to get "real progress and traction on the Millennium Development Goals in African countries."

Clark also met with members of the House of People’s Representatives.  They discussed the work being done to encourage women’s participation in local government and the importance of UNDP’s support to parliaments around the world (Fast Facts, UNDP and Parliamentary Development, .pdf).

Clark will spend the next four days in Addis Ababa.