In 2000, the U.N.’s General Assembly adopted the Millennium
Declaration, a laudable, and many thought doable, set of goals that included
cutting extreme poverty — “the kind of poverty that kills people from disease
and hunger,” Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute
and special adviser to Kofi Annan recently told Ch arlie Rose — in half by 2015.
Two years into the millennium, the goals were already behind schedule — U.S.
attention and money was, well, stingy — and U.N. Secretary Annan brought Sachs
in to head the Millennium Project, made up of a group of experts charged with
figuring out how to achieve the seemingly impossible.
Here are the eight ambitious Millennium Development Goals that
were spelled out in the Millennium Declaration back in 2000, a more optimistic
time before 9/11 and before last week’s devastating tsunami, which will surely
swallow up the majority of the world’s attention and aid dollars for years to
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger: Halve, between 1990 and
2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day. Halve,
between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
Achieve universal primary education: Ensure that, by 2015, children
everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of
Promote gender equality and empower women: Eliminate gender disparity
in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and to all levels of
education no later than 2015.
Reduce child mortality: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and
2015, the under-5 mortality rate.
Improve maternal health: Reduce by three-quarters, between 1990
and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio.
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases: Have halted by 2015
and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS. Have halted by 2015 and begun to
reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.
Ensure environmental sustainability: Integrate the principles
of sustainable development into country policies and programs and reverse the
loss of environmental resources. Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without
sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation. By 2020, achieve a
significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.
Develop a Global Partnership for Development: Develop further
an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system
(includes a commitment to good governance, development, and poverty reduction
— both nationally and internationally). Address the special needs of the least
developed Countries. Address the special needs of landlocked countries and small
island developing states (through the Programme of Action for the Sustainable
Development of Small Island Developing States and the outcome of the 22nd special
session of the General Assembly). Deal comprehensively with the debt problems
of developing countries through national and international measures in order
to make debt sustainable in the long term. In cooperation with developing countries,
develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth. In
cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable, essential
drugs in developing countries. In cooperation with the private sector, make
available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications.