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AFRO-NETS> Joint WB, IMF, OECD and UN Report: A better world for all
- Subject: AFRO-NETS> Joint WB, IMF, OECD and UN Report: A better world for all
- From: Claudio Schuftan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2000 11:14:08 -0400 (EDT)
Joint WB, IMF, OECD and UN Report: A better world for all
World Bank, IMF, OECD, and UN Release Joint Report on Development Pro-
gress-A Better World for All kicks off Geneva Social Summit
June 26, 2000 -- Today in Geneva, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
launched A Better World for All: Progress towards the international de-
velopment goals, a joint report of the World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund, the OECD, and the United Nations. The Secretary- General
was joined by ESSD Network Vice President Ian Johnson for the World
The 24-page report, the first ever to be signed jointly by the four or-
ganizations, illustrates graphically progress made toward seven goals
for international development. These goals, each addressing a specific
aspect of poverty, have been derived from the action plans of the
United Nations series of world conferences organized during the 1990s.
The achievement of these goals over the next 15 years would improve the
lives of billions of people:
Halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015. In
part, this requires sustained economic growth to cut poverty rates, as
occurred in Asia in recent years, though not Africa. Enroll all chil-
dren in primary school by 2015. On current trends, more than 100 mil-
lion school-age children will not be in school in 2015. Eliminate gen-
der disparities in education by 2005. Though the gender gap may be nar-
rowing, girls' enrollments are persistently behind those of boys. Re-
duce infant and child mortality rates by two-thirds between 1990 and
2015. For every country that cut infant and under-5 child mortality
rates fast enough over the last decade to reach the goal, 11 lagged be-
hind, often because of HIV/AIDS. Reduce maternal mortality ratios by
three- quarters by 2015. Skilled care during pregnancy and delivery can
help to avoid many of the half million maternal deaths each year. Pro-
vide access for all to reproductive health services by 2015. The pro-
portion of people in poverty may have declined through the mid-1990s,
but population growth meant that the number of poor people has in-
creased. Contraceptive use is one indicator of access to reproductive
health. Implement national strategies for sustainable development by
2005 so as to reverse the loss of environmental resources by 2015.
The goals, says the report, "should be viewed together because they are
mutually reinforcing. Higher school enrollments, especially for girls,
reduce poverty and mortality. Better basic health care increases en-
rollment and reduces poverty."
As A Better World for All clearly warns, none of the goals will be easy
to achieve. Yet recent progress should prove that they are not hopeless
either. China, for example, reduced the number of people living in pov-
erty from 360 million in 1990 to about 210 million in 1998. Mauritius
cut its military budget and invested heavily in health and education,
so that, today, all Mauritians have access to sanitation, 98 percent
have access to safe drinking water, and 97 percent of births are at-
tended by skilled health staff. And many Latin American countries have
moved much closer to gender equality in education.
What are the obstacles? Conflict has reversed social development gains
in much of Sub-Saharan Africa. The spread of HIV/AIDS exacerbates pov-
erty. Bad governance and weak economic policy hamper development.
The report calls for "pro-poor growth" to meet the goals. That means
giving stronger voices to the poor and achieving growth that helps
them. It means providing basic social services for all, opening markets
for trade and technology and providing enough resources for develop-
ment. But, while continued support of the international community and
high-income countries remains vital, goals cannot be imposed-each coun-
try must identify its own particular path to development, through dia-
logue with its own citizens.
A Better World for All was launched by the four organizations on the
opening day of the World Summit on Social Development and Beyond, a
Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly, also being re-
ferred to as Copenhagen+5. The high-level summit gathering will assess
progress in the past five years in achieving more "people- centered"
development outcomes, and to recommend further measures required to
fulfill the 10 "Copenhagen commitments.
The World Bank has also prepared its own report for the summit, New
Paths to Social Development: Community and Global Networks in Action,
which notes that "the globalization of capital and information has not
always resulted in the globalization of better living standards."
Courtesy of Eberhard Wenzel, MA PhD
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