Partnership for Development

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Vol. XLV No. 1 2008

In this issue, we focus on MDG 8 as the foundational goal, creating the conditions for achieving MDGs 1 to 7. While developing countries are called upon to improve governance to ensure that development initiatives reach those groups that would benefit most, the donor nations in the developed world are asked to make broad policy commitments to enable access to resources for development.

A new series in the UN Chronicle will highlight the major intellectual contributions and policy consequences of work undertaken by major researchers who worked with the United Nations system during their careers.

Of the many economists who have worked for the United Nations, Hans W. Singer was the one who did more, and for more different parts of the Organization, than any other.

W. Arthur Lewis' best-known contribution to development economics was his path-breaking work on the transfer of labour from a traditional to a modern capitalist sector in conditions of unlimited supplies of labour.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) summarize the development targets agreed to at international conferences and world summits during the 1990s. At the end of the last century, world leaders distilled the key goals and targets in the Millennium Declaration adopted in September 2000.

Progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the Asian and Pacific region is uneven. We achieved success in some, but faltered in others. Even in areas of success, in-country and intra-country disparities persist. The pace of progress is too slow.

As the world marks the midpoint between the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000 and the target date for their achievement in 2015, an assessment of the Arab region's progress on these is both timely and essential.

There is no doubt that Latin America is on track to meeting its commitment to halve the 1990 extreme poverty rate by the 2015 target deadline. The most recent estimates by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) show that some 14 million Latin Americans escaped from poverty in 2006 and another 10 million are no longer destitute.

The regions covered by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) -- the whole European continent, North America and Central Asia -- are characterized by a tremendous diversity in levels of economic development. While most countries of Western Europe and North America have levels of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita well above $20,000, for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) and South Eastern Europe (SEE), the level is below $10,000.

It was the best news for decades, when in 2000 world leaders acknowledged that the most urgent matter at the dawn of the new century was to put an end to poverty, and that the world has the resources and the know-how to do so.

Developing countries depend on national and global economic growth to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. In this regard, international trade is recognized as a powerful instrument to stimulate economic progress and alleviate poverty.

The midpoint to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) -- the time-bound and quantified targets, agreed by world leaders at the 2000 Millennium Summit, for improving the human condition and ensuring gender equality and environmental sustainability -- was reached in September 2007.

One sixth of the world's population lives in fragile States, which are also home to one out of every three people surviving on less than a dollar a day. Of all the children in the world who die before reaching their fifth birthday, half were born in these countries. Of all the women who die in childbirth, one in three dies in these countries. While other developing countries are making progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), these fragile nations, ranging from Haiti to Nepal, from Burundi to Uzbekistan, are falling behind.

Across the Arab region, progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been uneven. Arab countries with higher income per capita stand with better prospects for achieving the Goals than their low-income counterparts.

On 29 November 2007, Norway and the United Republic of Tanzania signed a bilateral agreement to support Tanzania's efforts to reduce child mortality and maternal mortality. The modality for support is to channel funds through a common financing basket for the health sector, together with a number of bilateral and multilateral partners, with no earmarking of the Norwegian funds.

Poverty reduction is the greatest challenge facing humanity today. An ideological commitment to reduce or eradicate this phenomenon should be contemplated as part and parcel of social moral responsibility and shared human values across countries and generations. Failure to do so will have unprecedented repercussions on human development.

At the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, the international community declared it would spare no effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which included halving global poverty, getting all the world's children into school, reducing infant and maternal mortality, and providing clean water and sanitation.

We live in an age of wonders. From nano-surgery to space stations, networking sites to solar cells, Internet start-ups to smart capital, the world is a more connected, attractive and safe place than was dreamed possible, even fifty years ago.

When world leaders vowed at the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000 to "spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty", they recognized that special measures would be required for the weakest members of the international community to achieve this goal.

There has been too little progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). At present, 40 per cent of the world's population is living below the minimum sanitation threshold, two thirds of all illiterate people are women and over 65 per cent of the people affected by HIV/AIDS live in Africa.