Home About ATN

News

2015? 2050? Ever?

Sep 20, 2008
In a unique and heartening display of unanimity and cooperation, the nations of the world came together in 2000 and signed the United Nations Millennium Declaration, pledging to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women, and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty.”1 Their blueprint for ending world poverty by 2015 consisted of eight goals:

  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, & other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development
Stunning successes have been met with in some countries for some of the goals, and they are all laid out in the Millennium Development Goals Report 2008. Progress is shown in almost all areas, though most often not enough to reach the target levels set for 2015. Poverty is down; the numbers of children enjoying at least a primary education are way up; childhood deaths from measles were reduced by two-thirds between 2000 to 2006; and some 1.6 billion people have gained access to safe drinking water since 1990. In the less dramatic, although perhaps even more important, economic sphere, the share of developing countries’ export earnings devoted to servicing external debt fell from 12.5 percent in 2000 to 6.6 percent in 2006, and mobile phone technology has spread rapidly throughout the developing world.

Predictably, the least progress has been shown in areas affecting women. Half a million prospective mothers die annually in childbirth or of complications from pregnancy. Women are drastically underrepresented in government. Most employed women are in vulnerable jobs or are unpaid family workers. Additionally, sub-Saharan Africa is a virtual basket case, where the primary goal of reducing poverty by one-half by 2015 will almost surely not be met. The area also shows much slower progress meeting the other seven goals. And carbon dioxide emissions have continued to increase, despite the clear and present danger they pose.

“The single most important success to date has been the unprecedented breadth and depth of the commitment to the [Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)].”2 Therein lies our greatest hope. The MDGs are a framework around which we can coordinate a full-court assault on the perils that face life on earth. Increasingly, governments, foundations, NGOS, and civil societies are rallying around that framework. Perhaps by 2015, even if those goals are not met, we will have crafted an alliance which—all together now—can meet those goals in a generation or two.
____________________
1 Millennium Development Goals Report 2008, pg. 3
2 Op cit., p. 4
tags: Poverty | Working Together | United Nations

Copyright © 2008 All Together Now.

Contact Us

Webmaster |

Services

TwitterEmail AlertsTimeWeather

QuikLinx

The End of LibrariesNew Political PartyNoted with Interest

Archives

20162015201420132012201120102009Oct-Dec 2008Jul-Sep 2008May-June 2008