In the month of September 2000, the United Nations met to "reaffirm our faith in the Organization and its Charter as indispensable foundations of a more peaceful, prosperous and just world." 1 It was out of this set of meetings that a new list of goals was setup for the UN to work to achieve. The resolution A/RES/55/2, lists the actual goals and statements the UN is striving to achieve.
The resolution first establishes fundamental values, which are considered "essential to international relations in the twenty-first century. These values are Freedom, Equality, Solidarity, Tolerance, Respect for nature, and Shared responsibility. The eight key goals flow out of these values.
The main goals follow:
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar/day
Reduce by half the proportion of people of people who suffer from hunger
Achieve universal primary education
Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling
Promote gender equality and empower women
Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2005
Eliminate gender disparity at all levels by 2015
Reduce child mortality
Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five
Improve maternal health
Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
Halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
Ensure environmental sustainability
Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country polices and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources
Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water
Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020
Develop a global partnership for development
Develop further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory. A commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction -- nationally and internationally
Address the least developed countries' special needs. This includes tariff- and quota-free access for their exports; enhanced debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries; cancellation of official bilateral debt, and more generous official development assistance for countries committed to poverty reduction
Address the special needs of landlocked and small island developing States
Deal comprehensively with developing countries' debt problems through national and international measures to make debt sustainable in the long term
In cooperation with the developing countries, develop decent and productive work for youth
In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies -- especially information and communications technologies
While these are good goals to strive for, several obvious problems come to mind. The first is the definition of terms. For example, what defines "affordable" drugs and better off which drugs are defined as being essential? The second major problem would be who is going to pay for these goals? For example, lowering the international debt of the countries, where is the money going to come for to replace the debt that is owed these countries? Also who is going to pay to for all of the environmental programs that are going to be started and take place? The final problem I have with this set of goals is who defines these goals as the correct goals to strive for? Has everyone agreed there is gender disparity and is the perceived disparity, just differences in culture? For example, the Muslim world views the role of a women different then Western society. Just a couple problems after first glance.
1. Taken from the resolution adopted by the General Assembly.
The rest of the information is taken from http://www.un.org/millennium/declaration/ares552e.pdf and my personal thoughts