UN millennium summit goals recede even farther
By Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: A report released today by the World Economic Forum paints a disappointing picture of attempts to meet the major goals that have been established by the international community to improve the state of the world.
A team of over 40 experts from around the world has concluded that governments, international organisations, business and civil society are engaging in only about one-third of the effort and partnership necessary to realise the United Nations Millennium Declaration goals.
The first annual report of the Switzerland-based World Economic Forum’s Global Governance Initiative (GGI) represents a year-long independent analysis by seven groups of leading experts in the areas of peace and security, poverty, hunger, education, health, environment and human rights. In September 2000, at the UN Millennium Summit, leaders from 189 countries endorsed a set of objectives in these areas, many of which bore the specific deadline of 2015. During 2003, in no single area did the international community warrant more than a score of 4 on a scale of 0 to 10 measuring the level of effort and cooperation necessary to achieve the goals, the Forum said.
At the same time, the report highlights the positive results of numerous innovative programmes in each sector, suggesting that the goals are achievable if the required degree of commitment was forthcoming. According to Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman of Anglo American, who served on the Steering Committee member that oversaw the survey, “All elements of society need to work much more effectively if we are to meet the goals by 2015. No one group on its own can achieve the goals.” Sadako Ogata, President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, said, “The attempt to link the security sector with the development agenda is particularly significant. Focusing on the security and development nexus will go a long way in pushing the global agenda for the benefit of all who suffer daily threats and poverty.”
Mary Robinson, Executive Director of the Ethical Globalisation Initiative and former President of Ireland, said, “To achieve human dignity for all, internationally agreed targets must be considered simultaneously and through coordinated strategies which identify the different responsibilities of all actors in society.”
The report devotes one chapter to each to peace and security, poverty, hunger, education, health, environment and human rights, highlighting notable problems as well as successes during the past year. According to Moisés Naím, editor-in-chief of the magazine, Foreign Policy, “This is a rigorous, hard-headed approach to assess how much progress the world is making in addressing what everyone agrees are urgent priorities. It provides a reliable tool to chart the progress being made. If this initiative did not exist it would have to be quickly invented.”
According to John Ruggie, a special adviser to the UN Secretary-General, “No doubt it will generate controversy, but that in itself can play a healthy and constructive role in improving overall performance.”