The Power to End Poverty

This month, the Millennium Villages Project launches its second five-year stage. Around Africa, and now around the world, governments are scaling up the lessons from this project and others like it: empower communities, help them to invest in their futures using cutting-edge technologies, and thereby end extreme poverty.

NEW YORK – Growing up as a child during the Korean War, I knew poverty first hand.  I saw it around me every day; I lived it. One of my earliest memories is walking up a muddy track into the mountains to escape the fighting, my village burning behind me and wondering what would happen to my family and me.

The answer was the United Nations and other international agencies. With the help of many countries and friends, my country was able to get back on its feet and carry on after that terrible and devastating conflict. Thanks to decades of hard work and sacrifice by millions of Koreans, the Republic of Korea rose from desperate poverty to prosperity in less than a half-century.

As Secretary-General of the UN, I am still living that story. Every day, I work to help end the extreme poverty that traps nearly a billion of the world’s people.