Cameron In Liberia To Co-Chair UN Meeting

Cameron In Liberia To Co-Chair UN Meeting

David Cameron has called for the next wave of international development targets to focus on extreme poverty as he visits Liberia.

The Prime Minister will later co-chair a meeting of the UN's high-level panel to decide what targets to bring in after the Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015.

Ahead of the meeting, Mr Cameron, on the final leg of a trip to Africa, also insisted bolstering security and civil structures was crucial, alongside aid measures.

Mr Cameron said: "Liberia is a country that was absolutely devastated by conflict and civil war. It is now recovering but there is still desperate poverty.

"I think it is very important we keep a focus on eradicating extreme poverty. Here in Liberia, one in 10 children do not make it to the age of five.

"But I also think it is important we look at those things that keep countries poor. Conflict, corruption, lack of justice, lack of the rule of law. These things matter as well as money."

Backing ambitious targets could fuel anger among Tory backbenchers at plans to raise aid spending to 0.7% of UK GDP.

The premier was forced to concede on Thursday that the defence budget could face more cuts in 2015-16, while the international development budget is protected.

Mr Cameron is the the first British prime minister to visit Liberia, where he is jointly chairing the high-level panel with the country's president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

He has moved onto Liberia from Libya, where he revealed British police investigating the Lockerbie bombing would visit the country in March.

Before travelling to Tripoli, he was in Algeria where he held talks about a new security partnership in the wake of the hostage crisis.