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Archived Articles on The Millennium Summit and Its Follow-Up


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Millennium Development Goals Are Failing (December 4, 2005)

Looking at figures from the ActionAid International report "Whose Freedom?," this article argues that "the Millennium Development Goals are failing." In 19 countries people did not experience any progress in terms of food access, health services and education and in some cases their conditions even worsened. According to the author, multilateral institutions and governments should stop promoting "free-market-obsessed" policies which prevent the achievement of such goals. (Asian Age)

Summit Asymmetry: The United States and UN Reform (December 1, 2005)

The US approached the World Summit with diffidence because the Summit sought to strengthen the UN's future capacity. Washington was not concerned with the UN's "structural deficiencies" but rather with allegations of corruption in the oil-for-food programme. The author suggests that the US does not want the UN strengthened and it wants any reform to be only on their terms. The US would rather "de-fang the beast, not give it more bite." (International Spectator)

MDGs Mask Injustice and Inequality in Latin America (November 2005)

By focusing on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), countries risk distracting from problems of injustice and inequality. This is particularly relevant for Latin America, the most socially unequal region in the world. Rather than endorsing neoliberal economic policies, governments must seek to achieve the MDGs "in a way that tackles injustice and inequality." (id21)

Foreign Aid Hike Too Little, Too Late for MDGs (October 14, 2005)

According to the UN report "World Economic and Social Survey 2005," if rich countries keep their promises, Official Development Assistance will increase to $130 billion by 2010. Many NGOs say that these additional funds will come too late, and poor countries will not reach the Millennium Development Goals. However, this article stresses that focusing the debate only on dollar amounts, distracts from the "systemic" problems in the global economy. (Inter Press Service)

The Perils of UN Reform (October 10, 2005)

Contrary to many observers' criticisms, the Millennium+5 Summit was actually modestly successful, argues Stephen Schlesinger, of the New School University. Since its inception, the United Nations has "reformed itself" only when member states have shown sufficient political will. The outcomes of the +5 Summit simply follow this now-60 year-old pattern. (The Nation)

Will UN Deliver? (October 9, 2005)

UN member states did not come to full agreement on all of the issues at the Millennium+5 Summit, concedes A.G. Doulian, the Russian Ambassador in Rwanda. Nonetheless, this "failure" was neither "tragic" nor "dramatic," Doulian maintains. Diplomats and world citizens should expect disagreements between countries, at a World Summit and otherwise. On a positive note, observers and stakeholders should welcome the Summit's committment to using the United Nations as the vehicle for overcoming these disagreements. (New Times – Kigali)

Post-Summit Dilemma of Promises and Delivery (October 3, 2005)

In the aftermath of the Millennium+5 Summit, UN member states attempted to put the meager resolutions of the Summit outcome document into action. The G77 advocated for action on debt cancellation, agricultural subsidies and general implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. Meanwhile, conflicts between the US and EU led to a stalemate on many issues. (Inter Press Service)

UN Millennium+5 Summit: Neither a Review Nor an Expression of Political Commitment (September 29, 2005)

This statement from African Civil Society questions the commitments of the world's governments to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in Africa. Analyzing three main sectors - aid, trade and debt - the group stresses that Africa was excluded from the negotiating process. If things continue this way, "the cost to Africa will be catastrophic."

The Gangs of New York (September 26, 2005)

The disappointing outcome of the Millennium+5 Summit is not an indication of a "failure" on the part of Kofi Annan, or on the part of the United Nations as an entity. Instead, the shortcomings draw attention to the problem of disunity among the member states. The UN will have a difficult time rising above these divisions unless nations begin to focus more on the substantive content of world issues - rather than rhetoric - in international policy-making. (Der Spiegel)

How 'Scientific' Are the Millennium Development Goals? (September 19, 2005)

Some economic analysts criticize the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) approach to development for their "significant uncertainty" in measuring progress. Meanwhile, supporters of the MDGs stress that the political value of such a campaign is more important than measuring figures. This article calls for a development strategy that would measure progress in both statistics figures and political commitments. (One World)

It's the Nations, Stupid! (September 15, 2005)

Despite US conservatives' statements to the contrary, and the fact that many nations and NGOs expressed disappointment in the Millennium+5 outcome document, the 2005 World Summit was not a "make or break" moment for the United Nations. It was, however, an illustration of the brazenness and danger of US unilateralism. Nonetheless, "the United Nations will survive – because most of its members, and indeed most of the world's people, want it to." (openDemocracy)

In Order to Redeem, the United Nations Must Be Redeemed (September 15, 2005)

UN Under Secretary General Shashi Tharoor, writing on the eve of the Millennium+5 Summit, acknowledges that "today's [UN] reform imperatives can be traced to international divisions over the Iraq war." Regardless, Tharoor maintains, reform efforts are wholly necessary. However, "the UN often falls short of its noble aspirations, since it…is a mirror of our world: it reflects our differences and our convergences, our hopes and aspirations, and our limitations and failures." (Daily Star - Lebanon)

Meet the Fakers (September 13, 2005)

The author warns that the UN Millennium+5 Summit could be "the greatest assembly in history – of hypocrites." Not only is the US working to undermine social and economic clauses, but China and India, who should be leaders of the developing world, are also off track. The current summit framework risks breaking the promise made to the world's poor at the Millennium Summit in 2000. (New York Times)

A Limited UN is Best for America (September 11, 2005)

US conservative and former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich weighs in on the UN reform debate. Gingrich makes no bones about the US strategy of pursuing "a fundamentally limited institution," saying "failure…can be an option for the UN." (Boston Globe)

The Bolton Backfire: Weaken UN, Imperil Americans (September 8, 2005)

"Why is the Bush administration seemingly hurtling toward confrontation with the rest of the world in the lead-up to the World Summit in New York," asks the Christian Science Monitor. As the UN "has very little independent existence of its own, and can only ever be as strong as the commitment it gets from its members," many states fear that Washington's obstinacy will undermine rather than strengthen the world body and result in "increased insecurity of everyone in the world."

The International Criminal Court and UN Reform (September 2005)

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court highlights how the Millennium+5 outcome document can affect the role of the ICC in international justice. The outcome document, widely supported by Secretary General Kofi Annan and the majority of the EU states, urges the ratification of the Rome Statute of the ICC as a means to fulfill the "responsibility to protect," a principle at stake at the Millennium+5 Summit.

UNdiplomatic (September 2, 2005)

This Washington Post editorial defends some of US Ambassador John Bolton's revisions to the Millennium+5 draft outcome document. However, the Post calls Bolton's diplomatic tactics in presenting the revisions "anything but statesmanlike." The pettiness of many of Bolton's revisions also means that he now risks "alienating US negotiating partners to score points over wordsmithing."

Nuclear Hypocrisy (September 2, 2005)

US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton intends to remove nuclear disarmament from the outcome draft document for the UN Summit in September 2005. This move to change the international framework on non-proliferation, is "part of the US's increasingly aggressive foreign policy," the Guardian article argues. Bolton's action is also a "hypocritical" attempt, which "legitimizes the possession of nuclear weapons by existing nuclear states," while preventing others from acquiring them.

No UN Reform Likely, Say Directors of Africa Policy Think-Tanks (August 28, 2005)

African experts agree that the African Union's (AU) unwavering stance on Security Council reform is "tragic," in that it will keep the AU from being a powerful lobbying force for issues of development and poverty eradication at the Millennium+5 Summit. The AU has firmly stood by the demand for permanent veto-power seats on the Security Council. Moreover, the AU's lack of an "opt-out clause" makes it impossible "for individual African countries to act alone without being seen to be breaking ranks or dissenting." (BuaNews)

Britain Heads for Clash with US (August 27, 2005)

A spokesman for the British Foreign Office confirmed that the United Kingdom and the European Union stand behind the original draft of the Millennium+5 Summit Declaration. The statement pits the EU and UK directly against the United States, which, under the leadership of US Ambassador John Bolton, submitted hundreds of proposed amendments to the outcome document. Many NGOs and government officials have expressed concern that UN officials' focus has turned to the controversy surrounding the editing process, rather than the important global issues at stake in the upcoming summit. (Guardian)

The US vs The UN (August 26, 2005)

US ambassador to the UN John Bolton demanded 750 amendments to the draft outcome document for the UN Summit in September 2005. The US seeks to remove all references to the Kyoto Protocol, the International Criminal Court, and any suggestion that the nuclear powers should dismantle their arsenals. These radical changes show that Bolton "throws preparations for the summit into turmoil," and is "far from being coy or cautious" in his relations with the UN. (Independent)

Bolton Pushes UN on Change as US Objects to Draft Plan (August 25, 2005)

One week after disrupting the editing process by suggesting the UN draft outcome document should be edited line-by-line, US Ambassador John Bolton circulated a letter stating that "time is short," and urging that the declaration be completed in time for the Millennium+5 Summit. These actions, and his recommendation to scrap more than 400 passages in the draft declaration, have led many countries and NGOs to speculate that the US is attempting to sabotage the reform process. (New York Times)

Analysis of the Draft Declaration of the UN Millennium Development Goals Summit (August 2005)

In June 2005, China and the Group of 77 submitted a proposal for changes to the draft declaration for the UN Millennium+5 Summit. This World Development Movement report documents how the draft, issued by the General Assembly on August 5, 2005, largely ignores the recommendations of the G77 and China – who represent 76% of the world's population.

How the G8 Lied to the World on Aid (August 23, 2005)

The UN has described the forthcoming Millennium+5 Summit as a "once-in-a-generation opportunity to take bold decisions." But, this Guardian article says the draft outcome document of the meeting lacks a new development strategy, and does not differ from the old failed privatization and economic liberalization approach. The author also considers the G8 promises of debt relief and increased aid as false claims.

UN Summit May Produce Weak Action Plan (August 22, 2005)

Both governments and NGOs doubt the strength of the stance taken on several major issues by the outcome document for UN reform. The concern arises over the United States' recent decision to begin line-by-line revisions of the draft document, and the document's stances on human rights and poverty eradication, which have increasingly weakened in each stage of the editing process. (Inter Press Service)

US Sets Last-Minute Drive to Scrap UN Reform Plan (August 17, 2005)

A number of diplomats speaking on the condition of anonymity expressed unhappiness with the United States' decision to scrap much of a draft plan for UN reform. The US move to "seek major revisions and line-by-line negotiations" on the document is particularly untimely, given that delegations planned to approve the draft at September's General Assembly summit. Many diplomats also expressed dismay at the US agenda which, in contrast to the the plan presented in the reform draft, focuses on antiterrorism initiatives at the expense of development policy. (Reuters)

Changes in Revised Draft Outcome Document (August 5, 2005) has published the complete list of changes to the July 22 Draft Outcome Document that have appeared in the August 5 version.

Showdown Looms on UN Summit Declaration (August 4, 2005)

According to Thalif Deen of Inter Press Service, the UN "is heading for a political showdown" as member states express antipodal criticisms of the General Assembly's Draft Outcome Document. The Group of 77 (G-77), encompassing 132 developing states, would like to see greater focus on economic and trade issues, while the US has made clear that it wishes to curtail the development agenda. Also, the G-77 complains that there are no provisions for restructuring the International Monetary Fund or of the World Bank, while UN reforms threaten to "undermine the authority of the General Assembly" where "developing countries have a voice."

US Criticizes Draft of UN Reforms (August 3, 2005)

The US expressed sharp opposition to the General Assembly's Draft Outcome Document for the September 2005 Summit, complaining that the blueprint "doesn't focus on President Bush's main concerns." Among the faults listed, US officials disapprove of the excessively "long" section on development – which ironically is the intended focus of the Summit – and wish to shift discussion on "proliferation and terrorists getting their hands on weapons of mass destruction." (Associated Press)

UN Millennium Summit in Danger of Being Hijacked (August 2, 2005)

This Inter Press Service article predicts that debates on UN reform, peacekeeping, terrorism and human rights will eclipse the projected development theme of the upcoming Millennium+5 Summit in September 2005. With the Millennium Development Goals already far from meeting their 2015 target, further sidelining of the development agenda would damage the UN's credibility, writes the author.

Civil Society in Chile Sceptical about Reforms (July 26, 2005)

NGOs in Chile are dissatisfied with the slow progress made towards implementing the Millennium Development Goals, and disapprove of the apparent shift in focus of the September 2005 UN Summit from development to UN reform and terrorism. Exponents of civil society also express resentment about the limited role the UN concedes to NGOs, explaining that "it is not possible to have an orderly world" without civil society's cooperation. (Inter Press Service)

Sub-Saharan Africa: The Human Costs of the 2015 "Business-as-Usual" Scenario (June 9, 2005)

If current trends continue, most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa will fall short of their targets for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to this United Nations Development Programme report. This is the only region where the number of child deaths is rising. If the signatory countries can meet the MDGs, 28 million fewer children will die in Sub-Saharan Africa in the next 10 years, and there will be 219 million fewer people in poverty in the region.

Unkept Promises: What the Numbers Say about Poverty and Gender (June 2005)

This report examines an extensive array of statistics to measure the current and projected status of world poverty, and how gender inequality should fit into development strategies. Focusing on various aspects of gender equity—women's empowerment, gender and education, gender gap in economic activity and earned income—this document reports a grave global situation. The world has made only half the progress needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals and the gap between rich and poor is growing larger each year. The world must take action now in order to alleviate gender inequity and poverty in the next ten years. (Social Watch)

Millennium Goals Not That Distant (May 2, 2005)

Despite the fact that few African countries are likely to meet all UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on time, the setting of targets has accelerated development in many areas. Uganda has reversed the spread of HIV/AIDS, Mozambique has succeeded in curbing child mortality and Tanzania is on track to provide safe water for all. Poor countries bear prime responsibility for achieving most MDGs, but they cannot make it if rich states fail to provide more and better aid, debt relief and fair trade terms. (Inter Press Service)

Millennium Development Goals Report 2005 (May 2005)

In preparation for the Millennium+5 Summit at the United Nations in September 2005, this report details the progress, or rather the lack of progress, toward the eight Millennium Development Goals, and how large an effort is needed to achieve them. The report represents the most comprehensive accounting to date on how far the world has come toward achieving these goals. While some countries are on track to achieving the goals, Sub-Saharan Africa lags far behind and will require unprecedented effort and action. (United Nations)

New Resources for Development (March 2005)

Five years after the Millennium Declaration, it is clear that most countries will not be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals without an aggressive approach. This report from the International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE) recommends that developed countries promote a more equal distribution of global wealth through the cancellation of unsustainable debt, the dedication of a minimum of 0.7% GDP in aid, and the implementation of global taxes such as a currency transactions tax and an aviation fuel tax.

UN Reform and the Millennium Goals 2005 (March 2005)

Noting that discussion on UN reform is frequently limited to Security Council expansion, Jens Martens summarizes the broad array of issues under debate ahead of the General Assembly's plenary session in September. He evaluates governments' commitments to realizing the Millennium Development Goals and examines the reactions and demands of non-governmental organizations. (Heinrich Bíll Foundation)

Oxfam Challenges Governments: Back Annan's Vision, Save Lives (March 21, 2005)

Oxfam welcomes Kofi Annan's report on UN reform and urges governments to support the Secretary General's agenda at the "UN Millennium Plus Five Summit" in September 2005. The international aid organization sets out a list of actions it wants governments to take at the summit, which includes meeting the Millennium Development Goals, committing to an arms trade treaty and reaffirming state responsibility to protect civilians caught up in warfare.

Benchmark for the 5-year Review of the Millennium Summit (March 10, 2005)

In this policy statement, Social Watch urges leaders of the international community "to take bold and decisive action" ensuring implementation of the Millennium declaration. The paper includes a comprehensive set of concrete actions to reduce poverty and inequality, decrease military spending, improve corporate accountability, make trade fair, and democratize international governance.

Mission Possible: Can the Millennium Development Goals be Saved? (February 6, 2005)

Despite some alarming statistics that suggest it could take up to a hundred years to implement the "ludicrously optimistic" Millennium Development Goals, this Boston Globe commentator believes Jeffrey Sachs' Millennium Project recommendations greatly improve their achievability.

UN Aims to Cut Poverty in Half as Experts Wonder How to Measure It (February 3, 2005)

Halving extreme poverty by 2015 is a central objective of the UN's Millennium Development Goals. However, defining and measuring poverty is not only complicated, but it is also susceptible to political influence. Unless the World Bank takes measures to ensure the impartiality of its staff, meeting the poverty reduction target could involve more statistical manipulation than actual progress. (New York Times)

Helsinki Process Proposes a G-20 Summit to Bridge North-South Gap (January 27, 2005)

Three reports from Helsinki Process Track Groups underline the need for global political leadership to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. The reports argue that the current G 7/8 is too narrow in its membership and propose a more inclusive regular summit of 20 heads of state. The Track Groups also recommend full cancellation of poor country debt, doubling aid and reforming global agricultural trade. (Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy)

UN Proposes Doubling of Aid to Cut Poverty (January 18, 2005)

Millennium Project head Jeffrey Sachs revealed an ambitious set of proposals designed to help the world meet the Millennium Development Goals. The report advocates for the doubling of aid to poor countries from a quarter of one percent of national incomes to a half of one percent. Human rights advocates have expressed concern that the recommendations do not adequately emphasize "the need" to make deep political and social changes to reduce poverty." (New York Times)



"Good Governance" and the MDGs: Contradictory or Complementary? (October 12, 2004)

Multilateral agencies view "good governance" as crucial to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This article asserts that good governance wrongly portrays economic growth as the primary source of development. The article further calls for a critical review of obstacles, such as global neo-liberal orthodoxy, that confront the MDGs. (Focus on the Global South)

The Landau Report: New International Financial Contributions (December 2004)

This report, commissioned by French President Jacques Chirac, argues that international aid in its current form is volatile, unpredictable and inadequate. International taxes on carbon emissions, financial transactions, arms and the profits of multinational corporations could improve the quality and raise the quantity of aid, and improve progress on the UN Millennium Development Goals. (groupe de travail sur led nouvelles contributions financií¨res internationals)

Reduce Poverty - Get a Safer World (November 18, 2004)

The US should demonstrate "good leadership" by addressing global poverty and embracing the Millennium Development Goals instead of pursuing a security agenda based solely on self-interest, says the Christian Science Monitor. This article concludes that the US should take the lead in the fight on poverty by reviewing its subsidy and aid policies making the world safer for a majority, not for a minority.

Global Warming Threatens Work of Top Aid and Environment Charities Says New Report (October 20, 2004)

Development and environment agencies warn in a new report that global climate change hits primarily poor communities and hinders them from achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The report concludes that governments must face the inseparable challenges of poverty and a rapidly warming global climate. (New Economics Foundation)

Debt Sustainability: Oasis or Mirage? (September 30, 2004)

This 2004 report from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development addresses the debt problems of African countries in the context of the Millennium Development Goals. The report criticizes former debt relief initiatives for poor outcomes and suggests a "moratorium on debt servicing" and an independent panel to review the sustainability of debt. (UNCTAD)

One Goal Is to Tell Talk from Action (September 24, 2004)

It seems fashionable for governments of rich countries to discuss debt cancellation and poverty reduction strategies. This article pointins out that "announcements are one thing, action another." While heads of states talk strategies, they overlook the most effective poverty reduction tools: decrease in agricultural subsidies and increase in Official Development Assistance. (Inter Press Service)

EU Promises Action Over MDGs (September 22, 2004)

Inter Press Service informs that the European Union development commissioner Luis Michel has promised to make the Millennium Development Goals "central to all of the European Commission's policies." The question remains whether the promise will result in active pro-poor development policies, such as fairer trade rules, increased Official Development Assistance and less subsidies.

France, Brazil Lead Charge for New Global Anti-Poverty Campaign (September 20, 2004)

The French president Jacques Chirac, joined by his Brazilian colleague Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, has called for a "radically new" global tax proposal. The two leaders suggest that international taxation represents a plausible way to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. As expected, the US representative opposed directly the proposal, declaring it "undemocratic and impossible to implement." (Tocqueville Connection)

Battling Poverty or Fighting Wars? (September 10, 2004)

Global military spending will likely approach the one-trillion-dollar mark by the end of 2004. Paradoxically, the world spends only 50 billion dollars on development aid annually. These figures reveal a lack of commitment among governments of rich countries to the UN Millennium Development Goal of reducing poverty. (Inter Press Service)

UK Leads a $4 Billion Vaccination Drive (August 9, 2004)

France, the UK and Bill Gates backed an initiative to vaccinate children for preventable diseases, such as polio and yellow fever. The program will strengthen healthcare systems and begin long-term vaccine buying policies, aiming to save over 2 million children per year by 2015.

Development: Millennium Goals Need Partners and Plans (July 22, 2004)

The UN is pushing for "less blaming of the poor" and more multilateral government action in attempts to reach the Millennium Challenge Accords by 2015. In this article, UN special advisor Jeffrey Sachs recommends the use of Poverty Reduction Policy Papers, an often-criticized strategy used by the World Bank and IMF, to guide such efforts. (Inter Press Service)

UNFPA Seeks Urgent Action on African Population Issues (June 11, 2004)

If African leaders do not pay more attention to poverty alleviation, the continent will fall short of the Millennium Development Goals. The UNFPA requests increased emphasis on population issues throughout the region to strengthen development efforts. Poor Nations (World Press Review)

Gordon Brown: We Need Irreversible Progress in Tackling World Poverty (June 1, 2004)

At the current rate of progress, the world will not meet the Millennium Development Goals in Africa, set for 2015, for another 100 years. The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer urges rich countries to live up to their promises and promote fair trade, aid and debt relief. (Independent)

"Guns or Growth? Assessing the Impact of Arms Sales on Sustainable Development" – A Summary (June 2004)

Oxfam warns that arms trade threatens poor countries' achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. While rich countries annually allocate $60 billion on aid, worldwide expenditure on arms amounts to $900 billion. Oxfam proposes an Arms Trade Treaty, which would permit arms trade for "legitimate security needs" but restrain trade if it jeopardizes sustainable development.

'EU Failing to Fight Poverty' (April 28, 2004)

Aid agencies argue that the European Union (EU) must redouble its anti-poverty commitments to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Hans Zomer from the Irish national network of development charities criticizes the EU for spending just 0.35 percent of its GNP in 2003 on overseas aid, while 600 million children live in poverty. (Inter Press Service)

Poverty Eradication in the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 (April 23, 2004)

This extensive Report by the Secretary General discusses the resources and activities that poor countries will need to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It covers a wide range of topics--from international assistance, to remittances, to trade, to mobilization of domestic resources--concluding that successful development will only come from a multi-layered endeavor that utilizes public and private mechanisms to mobilize a variety of resources. (ECOSOC)

Resources Mobilization and Enabling the Environment for Poverty Eradication in the Context of the Implementation of the Program of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010. (April 23, 2004)

This extensive Report by the Secretary General discusses the resources and activities that poor countries will need to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It covers a wide range of topics--from international assistance, to remittances, to trade, to mobilization of domestic resources--concluding that successful development will only come from a multi-layered endeavor that utilizes public and private mechanisms to mobilize a variety of resources. (ECOSOC)

World "Failing Poverty Pledges" (April 23, 2004)

In a joint study on tackling poverty, the World Bank and IMF call on rich countries to "take the lead" in addressing the root causes of poverty. James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank, argues that governments must "change their priorities and spend more on aid." Yet, Wolfensohn mentions nothing about the World Bank changing its neoliberal agenda. (BBC)

ECOSOC Calls for "Comprehensive Effort" to End Deep Poverty (February 18, 2004)

At a UN meeting on poverty eradication, President of ECOSOC and Ambassador of Finland, Marjatta Rasi demanded that governments develop "pro-poor growth policies" that generate employment, prevent further income disparities and lift the world's poorest nations out of extreme poverty. There was broad consensus on the need for changes in trade rules and a number of other measures. (UN Wire)


Getting Girls into Schools is First Step to Reaching MDGs (December 11, 2003)

UNICEF's "State of the World's Children" contends that promoting basic education for girls will jump-start the progress needed to reach the Millennium Development Goals. Currently, school enrollment and literacy rates are still far higher among boys than among girls, perpetuating the vast waste of human potential.

The First UN Millennium Development Goal (November 6, 2003)

What is poverty? How is it measured and by who? Mainstream media and UN institutions generally rely on the World Bank for data on poverty and poverty reduction. This article criticizes the World Bank's arbitrary way of developing these data, thereby critically assessing the fundaments of the Millennium Development Goals. (Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs)

Implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration (September 2, 2003)

In his annual report on the implementation of the Millennium Declaration, the UN Secretary General urges world leaders to rethink the United Nations in light of new global challenges such as terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

Debt and the Millennium Development Goals (September 2003)

CAFOD, Christian Aid and Eurodad urge multilateral and bilateral donors to undertake policy actions to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The joint paper argues that without the requisite finance, low-income countries cannot meet the goals. It furthermore proposes specific aid and debt policy reforms.

Real Progress Report on HIPC (September 2003)

This report analyzes achievements and failures of the IMF's HIPC-initiative to restore long-term debt sustainability to highly indebted poor countries. Jubilee Research urges the IMF to evaluate debt sustainability according to the resources needed for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, rather than in relation to export incomes.

The IMF and the Millennium Development Goals (September 2003)

This Oxfam paper criticizes the IMF for spreading pessimism toward increasing aid flows to poor countries. It urges the Fund to use its authority in a dynamic way, and to help establish the financial framework necessary to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Drugs Are Just the Start (August 28, 2003)

UK finance minister Gordon Brown asks rich countries to demonstrate their sincere commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals at the summits of the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank. Brown calls for a phasing out of agricultural protectionism, and announces British plans to double development assistance. (Guardian)

Dismal Numbers Don't Tell Whole Story, Says World Bank Africa Economist (April 28, 2003)

According to the World Bank's Chief Economist for the Africa region, many African countries are not going to reach the millennium development goals of halving poverty by 2015, "unless their performance changes in a very surprising way." (AllAfrica)

World Bank, IMF Say Third World Development Lags (April 14, 2003)

Senior officials of the World Bank and IMF criticize rich countries for failing to live up to their pledge to support the UN Millennium Development Goals. The officials particularly targeted these countries' refusal to reduce trade barriers and their failure to grant additional aid to help poor countries. (Los Angeles Times)

Poor Countries Overlooked at World Bank, Say NGOs (April 10, 2003)

The Iraq crisis will likely overshadow poverty, AIDS, education, and debt relief for poor countries at the World Bank and IMF's annual spring meetings in Washington, highlighting rich countries' gross over-representation at the two institutions. A Bank report says, "bluntly speaking," poor countries will not meet UN goals to halve poverty rates by 2015. (Reuters)

War on Iraq Threatens UN Poverty Goals (April 4, 2003)

Eveline Herfkens, the UN's executive coordinator for the Millennium Development Goals, warns that the US-led war on Iraq may jeopardize UN goals to reduce poverty by 2015. Funds that could have been used to fight poverty and AIDS will be diverted to military and post-war construction projects. (Inter Press Service)

France to Increase Its Aid to Africa by 50% (March 12, 2003)

At the launch of the UN Global Compact in Zambia, French ambassador Jean-Paul Monchau announced that France would increase its development assistance to Africa by fifty percent over the next five years. Monchau said France wanted to reverse the economic marginalization of Africa and help the continent reach the Millennium Development Goals. (Post (Lusaka))

Poverty is the War of Wars We Have to Win (January 26, 2003)

Eveline Herfkens, UN Special Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals, argues that a potential US war on Iraq cannot halt the global war on poverty. Herfkens contends that EU members have taken a strong stand on aid and development, arguing that "we can do things even if it does not involve the US." (Inter Press Service)

Brown Plan for Extra $50 Billion in War on Poverty (January 23, 2003)

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown proposes that rich countries double aid spending over the next fifteen years to help meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals of cutting world poverty levels in half. Brown argues the global war on terrorism must include a war on poverty. (Guardian)

Hypocrisy That Underlies HIPC (January 6, 2003)

The Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) has delivered only half the debt relief it promised, forcing countries with huge humanitarian needs to shell out millions of dollars to international creditors. This Guardian comment argues that Western creditors should adjust debt payment demands according to efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

The Millennium Development Goals and Local Processes – Hitting the Target or Missing the Point? (2003)

The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) is a great commitment to global poverty reduction, but the initiative has also several flaws: the MDGs embody issues that the international community has failed to address successfully through the last 40 years of aid work. This document argues that the MDG represent a positive step but one that risks complete undermining unless governments and aid agencies include a bottom-up perspective in addressing the global problems. It emphasizes also the need of fairer international trade policies and debt relief. (International Institute for Environment and Development)



UN Secretary General's Statement on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17, 2002)

Secretary General Kofi Annan reminds the international community it is far behind on its pledge to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Annan encourages each country, including those in the developed world, to devise its own poverty eradication strategies based on local problems and needs. (United Nations)

New UN Millennium Campaign Aims to Spark Global Movement (October 1, 2002)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's new campaign presses governments to act on the Millennium Development Goals. Annan's advisor on the campaign says, "the best news for the poor in centuries would be if we actually would implement these goals." (United Nations)

Cows Are Better Off Than Half the World (August 22, 2002)

The average European cow receives more money a day in subsidies than 2.8 billion people live on during the same time. Meanwhile, the expected cost for reaching the Millennium goals, on top of current aid spending, arrives at one sixth of the West's subsidies to its farmers. (Guardian)

Implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration (July 31, 2002)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's first annual progress report on the Millennium Development Goals warns that the world is "falling behind" on its pledge to meet the goals by 2015.




Where's the Money? G8 promises, G8 failures (July 2001)

The world's richest countries promised to; halve the amount of people living in poverty, ensure the primary education of children in poor countries, and reduce child mortality rates by two-thirds, all by 2015. However, this paper argues that a "huge gap" exists between these promises by the G8 countries and their inactions on global health, education, and debt relief. (Oxfam)

Fulfilling Africa's Promise (December 17, 2001)

Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) K.Y. Amoako calls for new models to reverse the trend of declining aid to the African continent. The continent will probably not meet the development goals set at the UN millennium summit. (10 Downing Street)

World Bank Joins United Nations in Implementing Millennium Development Goals (September 20, 2001)

The World Bank proclaims its partnership with the UN to fight poverty in the 21st century. The Bank will contribute, among other things, by offering the "right" economic policy. (The World Bank Group)

Road Map Towards the Implementation of UN's Millennium Declaration (September 6, 2001)

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urges countries to take concrete steps, and gives recommendations in order to reach the goals set at the 2000 Millennium Summit on reducing poverty. (UN)



Summits (September 17, 2000)

Speaking on Millennium Summits, Noam Chomsky comments that the UN Summit "received considerable national publicity, while the South Summit was barely reported, a reflection of the "imbalance" in the global system that it deplored." Chomsky further remarks on the great divide between the rich and the poor, development and the BWIs. (Znet Commentary)

Ground Shifting at the UN (September 9, 2000)

Now that the drama of the millennium summit is over, it is time for reflection of the role and action of the UN - which is trying to address global conflicts with a peacekeeping budget equivalent to one tenth of the annual budget of NY City Police Department. (BBC News)

Halving World's Poor is Realistic Goal (September 21, 2000)

The goals agreed to at the Millennium Summit are not empty rhetoric, but substantive and achievable aims, argues Mark Malloch Brown, administrator of UNDP. They should be embraced pragmatically and not dismissed as idealistic fantasies. (International Herald Tribune)

Annan Tells General Assembly to End Barriers (September 12, 2000)

The GA opens: Kofi defended the UN's relations with international business and independent organizations and agencies; Djibouti's leader, President Ismael Omar Guelleh of Djibouti welcomed Somalia's new status; and US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, promises "to serve the cause of international progress... for as long as I am alive". (New York Times)

Ministers Meet to Start Implementing Millennium Summit Agreement (September 12, 2000)

The Millennium General Assembly debate is expected to provide an initial indication of how committed governments are to the goals they agreed to in the eight-page summit declaration. (Associated Press)

A Stain on the UN (September 11, 2000)

An extreme criticism of the UN and the Millennium Summit - saying that the Summit "was juggled by a multinational conclave of confidence tricksters." It calls the Declaration document "at best meaningless and and worst dangerous". (National Post Toronto)

A New Style of UN (September 10, 2000)

William Pfaff claims that the "parsimony of the U.S. Congress has actually helped" Secretary General Kofi Annan, "reducing the overwhelming influence the United States possessed in the past" over the UN. Today, the US's claim to unilateral authority is "simply unacceptable." (Korea Herald (Seoul) )

UN Faces Crisis of Credibility, Says Annan (September 8, 2000)

Despite pledges during the Summit to support the UN, the organization of 189 member states seems to doubt the body of which they are a part. Annan stated that too many vulnerable communities in too many regions of the world are hesitating to look to the UN to assist them in their hour of need. (Reuters)

Strengthening the Peacekeepers (September 6, 2000)

The US is the chief culprit in the UN's peacekeeping problems, with commitment of resources for muscular UN action by member states being hampered by the US's arrears of over 1.8 billion US Dollars. Calls for reform of the UN at the Millennium Summit can't help if the UN's strongest members are not committed to the organization and its work. (Washington Post Editorial)

Germany's Millennium Summit Speech (September 6, 2000)

In his speech to the Millennium Summit, Chancellor Gerhard Schríder mentioned, inter alia, Germany's willingness to take the responsibility as a permanent member of the Security Council.

Missing From New York: America's Influence (September 5, 2000)

A cutting critique of the lack of US action in the international policy arena. Speaking of Heads-of-State dialogues occurring around the Millennium Summit, Stratfor sees many of these as "the global attempt… to manage around the Americans, instead of letting the Americans manage the world".

World's Elite Bring Global Crises to UN Summit (September 4, 2000)

Not just a monumental gathering, on the sidelines and in some forums, critical global issues such as the Middle East peace process, AIDS and the Congo will be tackled at the Millennium Summit. (Reuters)

Cuba's Castro Decides to Attend UN Summit (September 1, 2000)

Castro is coming. Likely a strong reaction to the recent US/Cuban policy differences and the recent denial of visas for Cuban diplomats wishing to attend the Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference in New York. (Reuters)

Millennium Summit Promises to Highlight Development and Poverty Issues (September 1, 2000)

The Millennium Summit will put development issues "back on the front burner", UN Deputy Secretary General Louise Fréchette said. She stressed the need for a holistic approach that could only be successfully set up through the UN. (Earth Times News Service)

The Shameful Summit (September 2000)

A declaration from the NGO Charter 99 reviewing the UN's main failures and achievements over the past 5 years. Charter 99 is campaigning for the UN Millennium Summit to set up a rigorous review process.

Annan Wants Open Doors for NGOs (August 29, 2000)

A succinct little piece on the quirks of this year's NGO conference, the Religious Summit and the upcoming Millennium Summit. (Earth Times)

Annan Says NGOs Essential to Work of UN (August 29, 2000)

Although our 'beloved' SG welcomed the NGO conference praising NGOs as "our best defence against complacency, our bravest campaigners for honesty and our boldest crusaders for change," that there is still no concrete commitment to NGO access by the UN and its member states. Hopefully this will be addressed at the upcoming Millennium Summit and Assembly. (Agence France Presse)

World Summit of Religions Opens at UN (August 28, 2000)

Opening with the conspicuous absence of the Pope and the Dalai Lama, the Secretary General commented on the Religious Summit that having a thousand religious leaders to talk about peace and the role that religion can have in the search for peace "is progress." (United Press International)

World Religious Leaders Seek Elusive Peace (August 28, 2000)

A cutting critical analysis of the Religious Summit, with skeptics noting that recent history "underscores that religion has often been the problem, rather than the solution." (Toronto Star)

World Leaders Heed Annan's Call for Treaty Action During Summit (August 25, 2000)

69 countries have notified the UN of their intention to sign, accede to, or ratify treaties deposited with the Secretary-General. Annan invited member states to take advantage of the Summit to pledge to international standards of humanitarian rights and disarmament. (UN News)

UN Calls Millennium Summit Largest Gathering of World Leaders Ever (August 25, 2000)

The serious "working" UN Summit, with some 150 world leaders in attendance, hopes to benchmark a new direction for the UN, with creation of a "blue print" for the United Nation's work in the new millennium and without the typical "gala" events. (Earth Times)

Annan Fends Off Criticism Over Dalai Lama (August 24, 2000)

The UN Secretary General said that he has tried to open up the UN "as much as I can to all segments of civil society." But he defends the UN over the issue of the Dalai Lama's presence at the Peace Summit saying that " this house is really a house for the member states and their sensitivities matter." (Reuters)

A UN Millennium Project: Eliminating Global Poverty (August 22, 2000)

Dharam Ghai, a former high-ranking UN official, calls for a bold initiative to eradicate global poverty by 2020. It should be discussed at the upcoming Millennium Assembly and coordinated through the UN framework. (Earth Times News Service)

Religious Assembly Proposed At NGO Forum (August 21, 2000)

The head of the Unification Church has recommended that nations create "peace zones" funded by international grass-roots organizations and administered by the United Nations. Also to be raised at the gathering of religious leaders for the Millennium Summit, is a religious council to assist the UN in its efforts to promote peace. (UN Wire)

UN Leaders to Discuss Four Themes at Summit (August 17, 2000)

The four themes are: poverty and development, conflict prevention, environmental problems and strengthening the United Nation's role.(Yomiuri Shimbun)

Social Development Summit Goals Tough But Achievable (August 16, 2000)

The Philippine government considers the Social Summit's goal of halving the incidence of poverty by 2015 achievable if the developing countries are committed to it. To this end, cooperation with civil society will be strengthened. (BusinessWorld)

World's Leaders to Reinvent the UN at Millennium Summit (August 16, 2000)

Despite much publicized criticisms of the UN, this historic summit calls for reaffirming faith in the organization and the UN Charter. Leaders from around the world have already received a compendium of multilateral treaties that have been adopted in past decades. Governments that have not signed or ratified those treaties are urged to do so. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur)

Making the UN Motto of 'Never Again' a Practical Reality (August 15, 2000)

Secretary General Kofi Annan hopes that the summit will be "a timely opportunity for the world's leaders to look beyond their pressing daily concerns and consider what kind of United Nations they can envision and will support in the new century". (Irish Times)

UN Chooses Chairmen for Millennium Summit (August 14, 2000)

Namibia's President Sam Nujoma and President Tarja Halonen of Finland will jointly preside over the summit. Many Pacific member states have suggested that they will only send minor delegations. Concerns have also been raised by member states in verbatim recording of roundtables and participation of religious figures. (United Press International)

Spiritual 'Summit' That Excludes the Dalai Lama Is a Sore Point for UN (August 4, 2000)

The Dalai Lama has declined the belated invitation to join in the Peace Summit at the Waldorf-Astoria. Some religious leaders are now saying that the exclusion of the Dalai Lama illustrates the need for such a conference, as well as its pitfalls.

UN Security Council to Hold Millennium Summit (August 4, 2000)

It was agreed that the heads of state and government of the 15 members of the Security Council would hold a summit meeting on September 7 to discuss the maintenance of international peace and security, particularly in Africa. The council has met only once at summit level, on January 31, 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. (Agence France Presse)

UN Summit Draft Calls for Enlargement of Security Council (August 3, 2000)

Compiled by Namibian Foreign Minister Theo-Ben Gurirab, who will chair the summit, the draft says that UN leaders will call for "the speedy reform and enlargement of the Security Council". If adopted, it will be the first time an official UN document has stipulated speedy reform and enlargement of the council, says this article from the Kyodo News Service.

Dalai Lama Blames China for UN Summit Exclusion (August 3, 2000)

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has been excluded from the UN Millennium Peace Summit in September. The UN declined to comment, but it is most likely due to China's opposition that an invitation was not extended to the Dalai Lama.(Reuters)

Meeting Will Focus On African Problems (August 2, 2000)

At the UN's Millennium Summit in September, Africa will be the focus. Hopefully, with the intense attention of almost all the global leaders, Africa's problems will be addressed effectively. (UN Wire)

UN Relents, Dalai Lama to Address Peace Summit (August 1, 2000)

After the furore created when the Nobel prize winning Dalai Lama was snubbed, including protest from the grandson of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, the coordinator of the Peace Summit has announced that the Dalai Lama has now been asked to give a keynote speech. However, the speech may not be delivered inside the UN compound. (Statesman (India))

PM Will Go To UN Summit (July 17, 2000)

In an about-turn, the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, announces that he will attend the UN Millennium Summit in September at headquarters in New York City. He has apparently resolved his conflicting engagements and will attend the Summit before opening the Olympics. (Sydney Morning Herald)

The People's Millennium Summit (July 2000)

Several NGOs have joined to form a coalition to identify critical issues which must be addressed effectively at the Millennium Summit. The coalition demands accountability of global institutions, especially the UN, to "we the people."

Australian Prime Minister Snubs UN Event (June 23, 2000)

Australian Prime Minister John Howard joins the ranks of Fidel Castro and Charles Taylor this week when he decided not to attend the upcoming Millennium Summit at UN Headquarters in September. Apparently, the opening of the Olympics is more important for Howard.

Goal of Halving Poverty by 2015 Attainable but Difficult, Progress Uneven (April 13, 2000)

According to a new World Bank report, there has been a pattern of uneven progression in poverty reduction; while the poverty rate is falling in some large countries, especially China, in many other countries, especially in Africa, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty is rising.

Annan Seeks Debate on UN Future in 'Millennium Report' (April 4, 2000)

Article from the Washington Post discusses Kofi Annan's major proposals for UN reform with emphasis on the need for changes in the Security Council's use of sanctions as well as a need for closer collaboration between the UN and the private sector to assist the developing world.

Summit of the Millennium (July 1997)

An Article from Inter Press Service by Gustavo Capdevila on the global conference in 2000 to discuss the future of the UN.

A Charter for Global Democracy

A call for international accountability, equality, justice, sustainable development and democracy addressed to the UN Millennium Assembly.


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