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United Nations

Strengthening efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger, including through the global partnership for development: Report of the Secretary-General

Annual ministerial review: strengthening efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger, including through the global partnership for development

United Nations Secretary General

1 June 2007

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Summary

Globally, absolute poverty continues to decline. By 2015, all major regions except sub-Saharan Africa are expected to reduce the proportion of people living in extreme poverty to less than half the 1990 rate. There has also been global progress in other dimensions of poverty, such as access to education and health care. Nevertheless, the rate of improvement is insufficient to achieve the goals in the areas established in the United Nations Millennium Declaration. Meanwhile, the global physical environment continues to deteriorate, with increasing evidence that climate change is reaching a “tipping point”, with potentially devastating consequences for the world’s poor.

In achieving the above-mentioned results, developing countries have been supported by a strengthened global partnership. Official development assistance and debt relief to developing countries have increased, but net financial flows have been negative. Official development assistance has not risen to the level of the commitments made by the developed countries, and the promise held out by the possibility of a development-oriented set of trade negotiations has so far failed to materialize.

The policies and actions embodied in the United Nations development agenda have contributed to the achievement of the desired results, but not yet on the scale required. Attention has to be focused on strengthening and accelerating implementation of the United Nations development agenda. Developing countries need to sustain momentum by elaborating and implementing, as called for in the 2005 World Summit Outcome, national development strategies that will accelerate progress. Development partners need to ensure that they implement their commitments to increase official development assistance in a predictable fashion; they should also accelerate progress towards a development-friendly outcome to the trade negotiations of the Doha Round.

Introduction

  1. Poverty and hunger, an overarching theme of the global summits and conferences, have social, cultural, political, environmental and other dimensions. Correspondingly, efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger will require progress in an array of interlinked areas, which include social integration, employment and decent work, environmental sustainability and demographic issues. The wide-ranging effort that is necessary to eradicate poverty in its many dimensions is synthesized in the United Nations development agenda and the internationally agreed development goals, particularly the Millennium Development Goals, and other outcomes that emanated from the conferences and summits.


  2. The first annual ministerial review, to be conducted pursuant to General Assembly resolutions 60/1 and 61/16, will provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to assess progress in overall implementation and to examine the results that have been achieved in implementing the United Nations development agenda. The objective should be to ascertain whether the agreements and commitments that constitute the development agenda are being honoured and whether the outcomes to date are commensurate with the aspirations embodied in the outcomes of United Nations conferences and summits.


  3. To that end, the present report provides a broad overview of progress. In many instances, it is difficult to provide a global measure of the implementation of agreed policies and measures. However, a number of concrete goals and targets have been adopted, most notably the Millennium Development Goals, providing benchmarks for measuring some of the results. In particular, data now becoming available make it possible to examine changes in development performance and prospects since the General Assembly, by its resolution 55/2, adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration. While the first ministerial review will follow a broad approach, subsequent reviews should focus on selected aspects of the United Nations development agenda.


  4. The present report should be considered in conjunction with the report of the Secretary-General entitled “Strengthening efforts at all levels to promote pro-poor sustained economic growth, including through equitable macroeconomic policies” (E/2007/68) and the Millennium Development Goals Report 20071 and its statistical annex.
Footnote:
  1. United Nations publication, forthcoming.



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