Social exclusion and discrimination "greatest obstacles to progress"Listen /
Social exclusion and discrimination are among the "greatest obstacles to progress" in reducing poverty according to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Ban Ki-moon made the comments as he launched the 2014 Millennium Development Goals or MDG Report.
The MDGs are a set of internationally agreed poverty reduction targets, the deadline for which is next year.
Many of the key targets have been met or are within reach, but Mr Ban says additional effort is needed to ensure more targets are reached.
"For the most marginalized and vulnerable in society, social exclusion and discrimination are among the greatest obstacles to progress. Unless these imbalances are addressed through bolder and more focused interventions, some targets will not be met."
They include key targets on childbirth, maternal mortality, universal education, and environmental sustainability.
UN Member States are currently developing sustainable development goals which will follow the MDGs in the post-2015 era.
Daniel Dickinson, United Nations