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As the United Nations summit assessing progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) got under way today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discussed how to ensure that those eight anti-poverty targets are reached during talks with the head of the European Commission (EC).

Scores of world leaders are descending upon UN Headquarters for a three-day General Assembly debate on the MDGs, and Mr. Ban urged participants to provide the necessary investment, aid and political will to end extreme poverty.

“We have more development success stories than ever before. The transformative impact of the MDGs is undeniable. This is an achievement we can proud of,” he said. “But we must protect these advances, many of which are still fragile. And the clock is ticking, with much more to do.”

During his talks with EC President José Manuel Barroso, the Secretary-General also expressed his gratitude for the commission's collaboration with the UN on the issue of climate change.

The two men discussed the need to achieve concrete results at the next UN Climate Change Conference kicking off in Cancun, Mexico, in late November.

Also on the agenda was the economic situation in the European Union, as well as the high priority it gives to human rights.

The EU was also a focus of Mr. Ban's talks today with Prime Minister Yves Leterme of Belgium, with the two leaders conferring on the body's role in the UN.

On the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), they talked about the work of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country (MONUSCO), the security situation in the country's troubled east and next year's elections.

The Secretary-General and Mr. Leterme also touched on the protection of civilians in the DRC, especially the issue of violence against women.

Kosovo topped Mr. Ban's talks with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov today. They discussed prospects for dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade.

The UN chief expressed his appreciation for Bulgaria's support to international efforts in the field of peace and security, especially in Afghanistan.