Human Development Report

2412-3129 (online)
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Human Development Reports (HDRs) have been released most years since 1990 and have explored different themes through the human development approach. They have had an extensive influence on development debate worldwide. The reports, produced by the Human Development Report Office for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), are ensured of editorial independence by the United Nation’s General Assembly
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Human Development Report 2003

Human Development Report 2003

Millennium Development Goals – A Compact among Nations to End Human Poverty You do not have access to this content

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31 Dec 2003
9789210576925 (PDF)

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Human Development Report 2003 overviews successes and failures of development over the last decade and presents a bold action plan on how nations can achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The plan, entitled “Millennium Development Compact,” lists six policy areas where a number of countries need to make progress to reach the MDGs. The plan argues for a big step-up in resources to ensure that these countries meet the Goals and invites donor countries to keep their promises. Human Development Report 2003 includes the first full set of data indicating the status of each goal in every country.
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  • Foreword
    This Report is about a simple idea whose time has come: the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Acknowledgements
    This Report could not have been prepared without the generous contributions of many individuals and organizations.
  • Overview: The Millennium Development Goals: A compact among nations to end human poverty
    The new century opened with an unprecedented declaration of solidarity and determination to rid the world of poverty. In 2000 the UN Millennium Declaration, adopted at the largest-ever gathering of heads of state, committed countries—rich and poor—to doing all they can to eradicate poverty, promote human dignity and equality and achieve peace, democracy and environmental sustainability. World leaders promised to work together to meet concrete targets for advancing development and reducing poverty by 2015 or earlier.
  • The Millennium Development Compact
    In September 2000 the world’s leaders adopted the UN Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to stronger global efforts to reduce poverty, improve health and promote peace, human rights and environmental sustainability. The Millennium Development Goals that emerged from the Declaration are specific, measurable targets, including the one for reducing— by 2015—the extreme poverty that still grips more than 1 billion of the world’s people. These Goals, and the commitments of rich and poor countries to achieve them, were affirmed in the Monterrey Consensus that emerged from the March 2002 UN Financing for Development conference, the September 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and the launch of the Doha Round on international trade.
  • The Millennium Development Goals
    In September 2000 the world’s leaders gathered at the UN Millennium Summit to commit their nations to strengthening global efforts for peace, human rights, democracy, strong governance, environmental sustainability and poverty eradication, and to promoting principles of human dignity, equality and equity.
  • Priority challenges in meeting the goals
    Two groups of developing countries face especially difficult—and different—challenges in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. In the first group are top priority and high priority countries where entrenched human poverty and failed—or even reversing—progress have created crises, requiring the world’s focused attention and resources. The second group is in the public eye less often, having made good progress overall. But that progress has been uneven, and gaps are widening because poor groups and regions are being left behind.
  • Overcoming structural barriers to growth to achieve the goals
    The core message of the Millennium Development Compact—and this chapter—is that many of the world’s poorest countries and regions face structural impediments that have made it very difficult to achieve sustained economic growth. Thus it is no accident that they are the poorest.
  • Public policies to improve people’s health and education
    As the Millennium Development Compact argues, the first cluster of policies required for top and high priority countries to break out of their poverty traps involve investing in health and education. These investments contribute to economic growth, which feeds back into human development (see chapter 3). Education, health, nutrition and water and sanitation complement each other, with investments in any one contributing to better outcomes in the others. A major message of this chapter is that policy-makers need to recognize the synergies among the many aspects of human development as they invest in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Private finance and provision of health, education and water
    For a number of reasons governments often finance and provide basic social services—basic health care, primary education, water and sanitation. One reason is that because such services are public goods, their market prices alone would not capture their intrinsic value and social benefits. Basic education benefits not only the individual who gains knowledge, it also benefits all members of society by improving health and hygiene behaviour and raising worker productivity.
  • Public policies to ensure environmental sustainability
    Ensuring environmental sustainability—the seventh Millennium Development Goal—requires achieving sustainable development patterns and preserving the productive capacity of natural ecosystems for future generations. Both efforts in turn require a variety of policies that reverse environmental damage and improve ecosystem management. The challenge has two dimensions: addressing natural resource scarcity for the world’s poor people and reversing environmental damage resulting from high consumption by rich people.
  • Mobilizing grass-roots support for the goals
    Implementing the policies and interventions required to meet the Millennium Development Goals requires the commitment of political leaders. But it also requires sustained political pressure, broad popular support and mechanisms for delivering services effectively. An open democratic state that guarantees civil and political freedoms is essential for such popular mobilization and participatory civic engagement, so that poor people can pressure their leaders to deliver on their commitments to the Goals.
  • Policy, not charity: What rich countries can do to help achieve the goals
    This chapter analyses the role of rich countries in the international compact to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, a compact that leverages the global commitments to reducing poverty by building on mutual responsibilities between poor and rich countries. Poor countries must improve governance to mobilize and manage resources more effectively and equitably. Rich countries must increase aid, debt relief, market access and technology transfers.
  • Notes
  • Bibliographic note
  • Bibliography
  • Indicator tables
  • Definitions of statistical terms
  • Statistical references
  • Classification of countries
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