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: United Nations

Getting Anti-Terrorism Right

Sep 14, 2008
Haiti is a mess. Probably everyone would agree with this, even ATN Golden A awardee Paul Farmer.

In late 2006 and early 2007, however, a United Nations operation in Haiti served as a model for the way things ought to be accomplished in a dangerous world. Gangs of thugs had taken over Port-au-Prince and were operating out of the city slums, kidnapping, robbing, and murdering at will, and with the financial backing of various political factions. After a spate of child kidnappings, the president of Haiti, René Préval, had enough and called for a United Nations peace enforcement initiative which ultimately defeated the gangs.

The U.N. needed—and received—a lot of help in their operation, from a mandate from the top to local military and police involvement, and reaching down to the level of the populace for actionable intelligence. A Special Report from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP)1 entitled Haiti: Confronting the Gangs of Port-au-Prince, by Michael Dziedzic and Robert M. Perito, offers a detailed analysis of the operation, its successes and its shortcomings. Together with its extensive recommendations for ameliorating those shortcomings, it is a blueprint for success in urban conflict against a nebulous foe entrenched within a civilian population. And it even makes from some exciting reading.

Its bottom line: “[T]he United Nations must be capable of mounting assertive operations to defend and enforce its mandates, and ... given the proper enabling conditions and the will to act, it is capable of doing so quite successfully.”
____________________
1 The USIP is “an independent, nonpartisan institution established and funded by Congress. Its goals are to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability and development, and increase conflict management capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide.”
tags: United Nations

Copyright © 2008 All Together Now.

Contact Us

Webmaster |

Services

TwitterEmail AlertsTimeWeather

QuikLinx

The End of LibrariesNew Political PartyNoted with Interest

Archives

December 2016November 2016October 2016September 2016August 2016July 2016May 2016April 2016March 2016February 2016January 2016December 2015November 2015September 2015April 2015January 2015November 2014July 2014March 2014December 2013November 2013October 2013September 2013August 2013May 2013April 2013March 2013February 2013January 2013December 2012November 2012October 2012September 2012August 2012July 2012June 2012May 2012April 2012March 2012February 2012January 2012December 2011November 2011October 2011September 2011August 2011July 2011June 2011May 2011April 2011March 2011February 2011January 2011December 2010November 2010October 2010September 2010August 2010July 2010June 2010May 2010April 2010March 2010February 2010January 2010December 2009November 2009October 2009September 2009August 2009July 2009June 2009May 2009April 2009March 2009February 2009January 2009Oct-Dec 2008Jul-Sep 2008May-June 2008