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At the start of the 21st century, the world has the resources to eliminate poverty, and finally deliver the vision of the founders of the UN. Despite the enormous wealth being generated by globalisation, however, we are currently failing in this task. This is not the fault of the UN, but rather, of the governments whose actions do not match the fine words they have espoused at international conferences over the last decade. Powerful governments preach market access, but practice protectionism; they proclaim the values of universal education but will not act to deliver it; and they speak the language of peace, while failing to consistently uphold the rights of the victims of conflict. Only by closing this credibility gap between rhetoric and reality can we make the legacy of the 21st Century one of shared global prosperity, rather than ever-greater inequality and enduring poverty. We need a decade of delivery to follow the last decade of deliberation.

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