The International Development Goals set targets for
reductions in poverty, improvements in health and education, and
protection of the environment. They distill the experience of many
years, expressed in the resolutions of major United Nations conferences.
The goals have been adopted by the World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund, the members of the Development Assistance Committee
of the OECD, and many other agencies. They found a new expression
in the Millennium Declaration of the United Nations, adopted by
the General Assembly in September 2000.
The goals measure progress from 1990 and look to what
can be accomplished by 2015. Their ambitious targets provide a formidable
challenge to the international community.
Looking at the world through the 21 indicators that measure progress
toward the goals gives cause for hope and concern. Of the world's
6 billion people, 1.2 billion live on less than $1 a day. About
10 million children under the age of five died in 1999, most from
preventable diseases. More than 113 million primary school age children
do not attend school-more of them girls than boys. More than 500,000
women die each year during pregnancy and childbirthunnecessarily.
And more than 14 million adolescents give birth each year.
Cause for despair? Or hope? In 1990 there were 1.3 billion living
on less than $1 a day. There were more than 11 million deaths among
children under five. There were fewer children out of school, but
enrollment rates were also lower. So there has been progress, but
the progress has been uneven. And many regions and many countries
still have a long way to go.