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African Leaders Sound Familiar Themes at UN Summit

African leaders speaking at the United Nations World Summit are touching on similar themes including progress on U.N. Millennium goals and efforts to develop their economies.

Thursday's speeches began with comments from the president of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, and later from the leader of Zambia, Levy Mwanawasa, both of whom admitted their nations are far from reaching goals set five years ago to slash poverty and improve education.

Only Gambian President Yayah Jammeh pointed out that the United Nations Development Program recently singled out his nation as making some headway towards the anti-poverty goals.

South African leader Thabo Mbeki told the audience that Africa's lack of progress was, in part, due to an approach which he called tepid and half-hearted.

He also said the failure to reach the development goals was the result of the imbalance of power between the U.N.'s wealthy nations and its poorer members.

Among the other African leaders scheduled to address the summit Thursday are the prime minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, the king of Swaziland, King Mswati, and the presidents of Mozambique, Gabon, and Benin.